Picture from Colombo Telegraph

While everything is debatable, not everything is negotiable. Some things, a few things, simply must not be negotiable. The territorial unity and integrity of the Sri Lankan state, Sri Lanka as a single indivisible country, must never be up for negotiation. Whoever we negotiate with and whatever we negotiate on, must know and understand this from the outset.  Every political community has boundaries which constitute red lines that should not be crossed.

What can be negotiated are the specific arrangements, structures and forms within a united Sri Lanka. Nothing should be treated with or entertained however, if that discourse or enterprise rejects, is ambivalent on or fails to commit unequivocally and unconditionally to the parameters of a united, single, indivisible Sri Lanka. Within a united Sri Lanka anything should be negotiable– though it may be unrealistic, given the balance of forces, including public opinion over the long term, to expect to convince Sri Lanka that the North and East should be re-merged and the State should abandon its unitary framework.

There are those who may think that such a commitment is unnecessary and that cumulative external pressure from far and near could coerce or crack the Sri Lankan state. At one level this is belied by the evidence of thirty years, which includes savage, sustained suicide terrorism and an episode of large scale external intervention—both of which Sri Lanka survived intact.

At a deeper level, even that demonstrated resilience and tensile strength are of secondary importance.  What is little understood is that at least since 1965, a significant ideological strand in Sri Lankan politics and society has envisaged a situation in which the state and ruling elite will be unable to defend the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, and that this task will devolve, as it did in China, Vietnam and Latin America, on anti-systemic forces. This is fed by the sense that Tamil secessionism has historically been beneficiary and extension of external hegemonism and has an abiding affinity with Empire. This militant ideology was most prominently articulated by Rohana Wijeweera and bloodily manifested in the second Southern insurrection. That was suppressed by the System reconfiguring and re-legitimising itself by retrieving the patriotic platform from the JVP. Had Premadasa not done so, the System would have been overrun– as would be the case at any time in the future that externally induced ‘regime change’ may install a neo-comprador, capitulationist-collaborationist leadership which permits reversal of the historic victory of 2009.

When faced with a threat to or erosion of national sovereignty and territorial unity, the Sri Lankan social formation reshuffles its power elite until it arrives at a leader capable of retrieving lost ground.

There is a new factor.  Towards the end of the war there was a steely determination among those who were fighting that any external intervention to thwart victory would be resisted by kinetic force.  That manifested itself at the command level of the armed apparatus in a post-war threat projection of a hostile external environment. That threat perception that seemed grossly overwrought at the time may prove to be otherwise. While this hostility is due also to myopically lost opportunities in the war’s immediate aftermath, the Sri Lankan state is more sinned against than sinning–or is as much sinned against as sinning. The new factor recessed in the hard-drive of the Sri Lankan state means that even if the shell of regime and state are cracked someday by cumulative, coercive external pressure, there will be a convergence and re-grouping of anti-systemic and systemic forces in a project of protracted asymmetric resistance waged by a ‘people-army’ embedded ‘at the base of the nation, in the minds of the people’ (Gramsci) – the ‘deep nation’ rising to resist the spatially and arithmetically extensive forces of external encirclement.

That being the matrix and scenario, what is the solution to the Tamil Question?  I would argue for a two stage solution.  Why so? Tamil nationalism has to downsize its false consciousness and come to its senses so as to fit safely into a devolved polity. Just as a passenger demonstrating signs of being dangerously disruptive on board a flight will not be allowed to board, no entity which shows signs of a project which seeks to ‘prove that a solution is not possible within a united Sri Lanka’ can be trusted to stay within the Constitutional limits of a provincial council in our strategic frontier, across which is a historically – and increasingly—hostile element.  This is not absurdly alarmist. Sri Lanka must never forget its experiences with the threat of UDI (‘external self determination’ invoked in the alleged absence of adequate transfer of power) by the North-East Provincial Council of Chief Minister Vardarajaperumal.

Well-intentioned commentators argue that we should ignore the latent—and even episodically manifest—secessionism in Tamil nationalist discourse and give it the benefit of the doubt. They simplistically urge the speedy holding of elections to the Northern provincial council. These commentators have turned their backs not only on the Realist tradition but also on the best of the radical tradition. They are oblivious to the Leninist injunction of the concrete analysis of concrete conditions. These concrete conditions include not merely the ‘autonomist- secessionist continuum’ that characterises Tamil nationalism but also the ‘autonomist-federalist-secessionist continuum’ observable in many other parts of the world, as part of the post-Cold war strategy and project of the Empire. The renowned radical scholar Prof James Petras deals with the phenomenon in his well-known essay on “Separatism and Empire Building in the 21st Century”. He argues that the Empire has resurrected the old historical pattern and practice of divide and rule. Petras pays particular attention to the destruction of former Yugoslavia right up to the secession under outright Western patronage of Kosovo, the de-facto separate existence of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq, and the agitation in and over Tibet. He spotlights the use of global human rights propaganda campaigns to “weaken the central government”. In any country in which the Empire building project “cannot secure a stable client regime, it resorts to financing and promoting separatist organizations and leaders using ethnic, religious and regional pretexts”.

Petras captures the incremental character of the separatist project: “…separatist movements follow a step-by-step process, beginning with calls for ‘greater autonomy’ and ‘decentralization’, essentially tactical moves to gain a local political power base, accumulate economic revenues, repress anti-separatist groups and local ethnic/religious, political minorities with ties to the central government… The attempt to forcibly usurp local resources and the ousting of local allies of the central government results in confrontations and conflict with the legitimate power of the central government. It is at this point that external (imperial) support is crucial in mobilizing the mass media to denounce repression of ‘peaceful national movements’ merely ‘exercising their right to self-determination’. Once the imperial mass media propaganda machine touches the noble rhetoric of ‘self-determination’ and ‘autonomy’, ‘decentralization’ and ‘home rule’, the great majority of US and European funded NGOs jump on board, selectively attacking the government’s effort to maintain a stable unified nation-state. In the name of ‘diversity’ and a ‘pluri-ethnic state’, the Western-bankrolled NGOs provide a moralist ideological cover to the pro-imperialist separatists. When the separatists succeed and murder and ethnically cleanse the ethnic and religious minorities linked to the former central state, the NGOs are remarkably silent or even complicit in justifying the massacres as ‘understandable over-reaction to previous repression’.”

Petras cautions against federalism, pointing out with concrete examples, that “the shift from ‘autonomy’ within a federal state to an ‘independent state’ is based on the aid channelled and administered by the imperial state to the ‘autonomous region’, thus strengthening its ‘de facto’ existence as a separate state”.

Thus, in the Sri Lankan context today, devolution cannot be open-ended: there must be closure; the ceiling and ‘final status’ must be agreed upon and guaranteed before (re) activation, especially in a hostile sub-regional neighbourhood.

Provincial level devolution (the retention of which I remain an advocate and defender of) may perhaps be best put on the backburner in the first stage, until the subjective conditions ripen. The first stage could be one of creating a new Sri Lankan society, consciousness and citizenry, based on the equality of citizenship, integration and pluralism, multiculturalism and meritocracy, and the elimination of racism and racial discrimination in all its forms. The second stage could be that of activating the existing Constitutional provisions for devolution, with mutually agreed upon modifications (such as redistribution of the concurrent list). Why a second stage if the first stage can be successful? The answer is that the project of an equal citizenship can only succeed fully in a secular state, and that seems far too radical a transformation for Sri Lanka. Thus a second stage of irreducible autonomous political space at the periphery may be necessary for a successfully re-negotiated Social — or (ethno) Political– Contract.

The solution may reside in LLRC plus 13th Amendment (not 13 Plus); but LLRC first, 13th amendment second. It would constitute a combination, but taken sequentially, not simultaneously. An interim council appointed by the President, consisting of the elected local government authorities and/or MPs representing the Northern Province, may serve as a bridging sub-stage or transitional phase between the first and second stages.

  • jansee

    Dayan:

    Looks like a good read save that promises by the Sinhala regime are nothing but lies, as we have wonderfully found out over the years. Anyway, your discourse, and if there is any merit in it at all, comes at a time when no one seems to trust the state with any promises. All this talk and talk of what the Sinhalese regime can give is and should not be the criteria anymore.

  • alex fernando

    Pretty paranoid stuff – everyone is out to get poor Sri Lanka. Another apology for continued oppression of Tamils by the Rajapakses. The author places the blame for the oppression of Tamils on the Tamil Diaspora’s ‘nationalism’ and the international community’s ’empire building project’. Why is the liberal democratic club of countries deemed to be an Empire? Why can’t it be something that Sri Lanka simply needs to join for the sake of the prosperity and welfare of all its citizens? The author thinks that Sri Lanka becoming a secular state under the current regime is impossible – isn’t that the type of reform that needs to be the focus of the academic community in Sri Lanka? With these types of ‘intellectuals’ driving Sri Lanka forward the country will look more like Burma than the next Asian miracle economy.

  • Gear Mr.Jayatilleke/De Silva,
    I give below a few extracts from an editorial in Daily News written in 1972 July by Mervyd de Sliva from an artiticle by DBSJ. “…The emergence, however hesitant or faint, of a militant youth group in the peninsula is a phenomenon about which we have written before. If the observation is correct, it is a factor of enormous significance – especially to the government. It is tempting these days to make a fetish of youth movements and youth politics. In Lanka, the temptation is almost irresistible after last year’s holocaust. In any case, this is not only a young nation but a country of young people, as the relevant statistics prove.’
    The frustrations of the educated young Tamil at a time when even science graduates cannot find suitable jobs do not require much explication. The fact that these frustrations are universal and that they are shared by his Sinhala counterpart does not make the Tamil youth’s psychological load lighter. And if he feels, in fact, that the educational system and system of recruitment to the public sector have been deliberately contrived to reduce his chances, he has more reason for anger. An anger that reaches the limits of tolerance makes inflammable material for a certain kind of politics.
    …A movement of militant youth rooted in the soil of Jaffna and nourished by material frustration, a feeling of humiliation and bitterness could be another kettle of fish.”
    When Mervyn had written like a statesman you seem to disrespect your father by writing such pieces with the “Take it or nothing ” attitude.

  • Velu Balendran

    The first sentence is a joke! Why debate at all (unless you are a fool), if you cannot change anything – obviously by negotiation? (The line to toe is not-debatable and no- negotiable! Hence a red line 🙂 )

    “The territorial unity and integrity of the Sri Lankan state, Sri Lanka as a single indivisible country, must never be up for negotiation”.

    Sri Lanka as a state came into existence after the advent of the Brits. Prior to that only kingdoms existed. So how come the breakup of such a recent concept becomes a red line and makes people hot under the collar to behave/write unreasonably and illogically? Unless one is a chauvinist or a racist (who clearly do not succumb to reason), such attitude is unexplainable. Anyway, we have seen Balkanisation, the breakup of USSR and the more recent examples of new nations to take red lines seriously.

    The reasonable line to draw is to conclude that there can never be manmade red lines setup exclusively by one “political community” unilaterally to the detriment of the other. These red line can only be red rags to racist bulls. But then who cares about these vile creatures?

    • Just because you negotiate, doesn’t mean everything is up for negotiation.

      • jansee

        David:

        For the SL regime, negotiations are ALWAYS an insidious way of NOT coming out clean. APRC, LLRC and the many NEGOTIATIONS meant only one thing – to deceive the other party.

      • Then don’t negotiate.

      • Velu Balendran

        Dear David Blacker,

        Come to think of it you may be absolutely right!

        Never should one “political community” be allowed, to discuss and negotiate to gain respectability, to oppress other communities in violation of all known norms.

        However, nothing bars them from engaging in foolish debate that takes them nowhere – which is what this column writer is doing, taking advantage of the fact that they hold the weakened Tamils literally at gunpoint!

        The right of self-determination of Tamils is unquestionable and non-negotiable.

      • It is the Tigers who have placed the Tamils in this pitiable position, with the active support of many Tamils. So it is pointless blaming the GoSL for that.

        As for not negotiating, that is up to you. No one is forcing anyone to negotiate anything. Either you do, or you don’t. If you want to sulk in a corner, go for it. Time waits for no man.

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    “The solution may reside in LLRC plus 13th Amendment (not 13 Plus); but LLRC first, 13th amendment second. It would constitute a combination, but taken sequentially, not simultaneously. An interim council appointed by the President, consisting of the elected local government authorities and/or MPs representing the Northern Province, may serve as a bridging sub-stage or transitional phase between the first and second stages.”

    Dr.Dayan Jayatilleke’s essay rightly highlights the dangers of open ended devolution in the context of the Eelam demand and the wars fought over it. The current approach of the Tamil political formations rationalize his fears. However, I do not agree with the main thrust of Dayan’s conclusion.

    The 13th amendment is fatally flawed, with reference to the Provincial Councils. The Provincial Councils should be structured and empowered to function not as an arm of the central government, but as an apex body mandated by the people to carry out certain defined functions independently in the provinces. Unless this happens, they will continue to be a fraud perpetrated on the Tamil people who demanded devolution as a solution to their problems.

    However, the circumstances are not right in terms of national reconciliation and trust building to take such a radical step. The need of the hour is to deliver good governance to the war-affected people. This is not only a crucial strategy to bring about national reconciliation and build trust, but also an urgent necessity.

    Further, the politicians in the country as a whole and in the north and east,in particular, however empowered, being a largely a despicable and low grade lot, are inherently incapable of delivering what is needed. They are the ugly face of our so-called democracy in Sri Lanka. In fact they are our main problem and a major major hindrance to good governance.

    To involve such elements in interim arrangements to macro- and micro- manage the north and east, as Dayan suggests, will prove counter productive in the long run. What Dayan is trying to do is chart an escape route for the GOSL from the current conundrum, brought about by its short sighted political moves in the immediate post-war period. The price Dayan wants the war-affected Tamils and the country at large to pay, is unacceptable in the long term interests of the country.

    The ‘Interim Councils’ however constituted or ‘Provincial Councils’ functioning as now, are not the solution under the present circumstances. They will be mere sops to the international community, the vociferous Tamil Diaspora and a despicable and low grade Tamil political leadership. These sops will offer no solutions to the war-affected people, who are principally Tamils and Muslims.

    The only solution to the travails of the war-affected people is good governance. The LLRC report highlights this. It is for the GOSL to decide how to deliver this effectively.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • jansee

      Dr Rajasingam:

      Taking idps and dumping them into god-forsaken environments with a few tin sheets can hardly be “good governance”. If at all, this is utter treachery, just to save the Regime’s skin in the eyes of the world.

      The TNA may not be the perfect answer to all the Tamil people, particularly in the North/East, as one could hardly expect the MR regime to be able to appease all Sinhalese but the Tamils there have more faith in the TNA than MR and Rajasingam. I do not know whether you refer to the EPDP as low grade Tamil leadership but if it is the TNA that you allude to then for all your wisdom you seem to fault the people who chose “RIGHTS” to governance. After all, desperate canvassing on the platform of development and governance did not help MR in the council elections. May be, with your kind of wisdom, you should chose to stand there and see whether you can even safeguard your deposit.

      With the guns pointed at them, isn’t it obvious that the Tamils are silenced and it is because of the vociferous diaspora that skeletons from the closet are gradually surfacing, and more would come soon. It is a prevalent belief that international pressure and that from the diaspora is not only a sore irritant on the MR regime but something beyond his control and as he hardens his stance, the resolve of the diaspora would harden. If you think the diaspora means nothing, you are sadly mistaken

      • Off the Cuff

        “With the guns pointed at them, isn’t it obvious that the Tamils are silenced”

        Fantastic observation but 30+ years too late.

        The Tamils in Lanka were silenced while the Diaspora were Vociferous.
        Tamils in Lanka died while those in the Diaspora were living it up.

        The Vanni Tamil children were robbed of their childhood, Education and Life. The Diaspora children were enjoying everything that was denied to the Vanni. All because those who were performing Death Fasts, while tucking in to Fast food, on the sly, became the war drum beating mouthpiece, of the Silenced and helpless Tamils of the Vanni, forced to live under the gun wielding jackboot of a murderous gang led by a megalomaniac called Prabhakaran.

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Jansee,

        I have seen the condition of the IDPs as they arrived at the Gamini Vidyalaya reception camp in Vavuniya from Mullaitivu and the conditions under which they were accommodated at the Chettikulam IDP camps. The IDP camps were heaven, compared to the refugee camp I had to live in Kandy after the 1977 riots! They were also heaven compared to those established in Tamil Nadu to accommodate the poor Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka!

        Further, the vote for the TNA was not a vote for their policies or stance. It was a vote by a stunned and debased people for the familiar and nothing more. Many votes were bought for Rs.5000/=. Most of the politicians in Sri Lanka are a bad lot. Why do you think those in the TNA are an exception? There are worse because they do not have the character,wisdom,vision and commitment to lead a people crying for leadership, at a critical point in their history. The war-affected Tamils want a leadership to take them out of their present misery, as fast as possible. They are not looking for a leadership to take them back into a past that is the cause of their present misery. The Tamil politicians are ‘Typical fat cats’ thriving on the privileges provided by the government, while hoodwinking their people and the world! They are a bunch of political animals, hypocrites and charlatans, for whom I have no respect and in whom I do not place any hope. They are a curse on the Tamils.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear Dr Narendran,

        I have been reading your contributions whenever I can; I concur with many points that you make especially about Good Governance. I also think that Good Governance will resolve many thorny issues and will help to build trust among the communities.

        However, I totally disagree with your outright criticism of the TNA. TNA is not perfect; yes it is a race-based party that has been elected by the wounded Tamils aftermath of the war. The TNA did not advocate separatism; they set their political platform on the basis of a United Sri Lanka and look to the central Government for leadership. You can say that TNA should focus on the immediate requirements of the people; I too agree that they should. However, it is the duty of TNA, within the framework of the United Sri Lanka, to endeavor to find an amicable solution to the ethnic problems.

        “Why do you think those in the TNA are an exception? There are worse because they do not have the character,wisdom,vision and commitment to lead a people crying for leadership, at a critical point in their history.”

        How are the TNA worse than the other political lot? They can easily join the MR bandwagon and enjoy certain ministerial positions. How are they lacking in vision and wisdom? What should be the vision that they should project? Why did MR publically made promises that he would resolve the national question on the basis of 13A+? Democratically, the Tamils within N&E have voted for TNA; they are the representatives of the Tamil people. The Tamils did not choose the Tamil Congress that was being led by Ponnampalam that stands for separatism; they voted for TNA for a solution within United Sri Lanka. Personally, I have no issues whether it will be united or unitary as long as it is acceptable to all concerned. There are so many measures that the GOSL can implement that would force the TNA to buckle and compromise. The language policy has never been implemented; reluctance in implementing the LLRC recommendations; it was the pressure from outside that is compelling GOSL to move at a snail pace!

        Please outline as to how TNA should behave; what vision and wisdom that it should project?

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,

      The 13A is flawed due to the concurrent list, unrealistic Provincial boundaries and the sloppy language that leaves loop holes to subvert the recognised principle of National Ethnic Ratios when it comes to sharing of resources.

      If these are corrected I don’t see what stands in the way of equitable devolution.

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Off the cuff,

        Thanks. The TNA is worse than other political formations in Sri Lanka, because of the manner it has behaved at the worst moment in the history of the Sri Lankan Tamils.. They have not been sensitive to the human tragedy that confronted the Tamils both towards the end of the war and after subsequently. They have not provided the leadership the Tamils needed to come out of a quagmire in terms of human survival. Their political agenda of the pre- and post- Tiger eras, held sway over the more mundane, but critical, needs of a war-affected people. The problems of these unfortunate Tamils was related to their basic need as humans and not as Tamils. They lied, exaggerated and misled as a deliberate political ploy, in conjunction with sections of the Tamil Diaspora. The TNA was playing political games at the expense of the war-affected Tamil people. The TNA failed the Tamils when they needed leadership of humans for humans. I have been writing about this failure in transcurrents/tamilweek, for a long time. Please read my open letter to Mr.Sampanthan (http://transcurrents.com/news-views/archives/2831).

        Th history of the Tamil political formations in Ceylon/ Sri Lanka indicates that they have been reactive than pro-active. They have helped worsen issues and problems than solve them. They had no sense of timing and strategy. They have been sloganeers and rabble-rousers than problem solvers. They have toyed with the emotions of the Tamils, but failed to use opportunities that came their way to find solutions to contentious issues. The have been cheap politicians who needed a beggars wound to promote their political hegemony. Dayan has listed some such episodes in one of his recent articles.

        Further, I agree with your comment on the provincial Council act. I have been highlighting its deliberately designed structural faults in several articles and comments. I disagree with Dayan, not on his advocacy of the 13th amendment per se, but on the Provincial Councils as designed within it. The PCs are a fraud perpetrated on the Tamils by JRJ and the Indians.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • Asanga Welikala

    Aside from the historiographical arguments of Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism, and (valid) arguments of realpolitik, what is the key NORMATIVE argument for the unity of the state? Why should the unity of the Sri Lankan state be regarded as a VALUE or principle that demands the universal subscription of citizens (and by extension, that citizens should be prepared to defend to the death if necessary)? The unity of the state, as a NORMATIVE CONCEPT, can be regarded as non-negotiable or a ‘red line’ in a DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC only if there is a persuasive and universalisable justification for it. The imperative of defeating the sinister ‘neo-imperialist + neo-comprador + collaborationist-cosmopolitanist + separatist’ enemy as a normative argument for the unity of the state, seems to me to require too much by way of IDEOLOGICAL faith.

    • “Why should the unity of the Sri Lankan state be regarded as a VALUE or principle that demands the universal subscription of citizens (and by extension, that citizens should be prepared to defend to the death if necessary)?”

      Obviously there’s nothing more than patriotism. You can argue that patriotism is stupid (I think so too). But it is a special case of loyalty, and you can argue loyalty is stupid too. But we wouldn’t have survived in the jungle if it wasn’t for the loyalty to the tribe.

      • Asanga Welikala

        Patriotism as an explanation for the unity of the state is an empirical observation, not a normative argument. Patriotism, or at any rate, a high degree of nationalist cohesion within the majority group, could EXPLAIN the unity of the state, but it does not tell us why citizens (of a democracy and a republic) OUGHT TO defend the unity of the state.

        Incidentally, I do not regard patriotism (or even ethnic nationalism) as necessarily ‘stupid’. Taking ‘rationality’ loosely as the opposite of ‘stupidity’ in politics, neither rationality nor rationalism constitutes the exclusive determinant of the validity of political choices, and hence the inescapable element of myth, belief, invention and imagination in both patriotism and nationalism, neither of which becomes any less real because it is irrational or stupid from an external point of view.

      • Asanga,

        I never said it patriotism was a normative argument. I cannot think how you thought so as such. What I said was, there is nothing more than patriotism that justifies the unity of the state. There is no normative argument.

        I did not mean that patriotism was irrational when I said it is stupid. A person can be a patriot for perfectly rational reasons. I however do not share your view that ” neither rationality nor rationalism constitutes the exclusive determinant of the validity of political choices.” If the major reason for a person’s patriotism is that he thinks his country is holy, then it is obviously irrational since his belief does not reflect reality.

        If the reason for a person to be pro-life is his belief that consciousness arises at the moment of conception, then it is irrational since it contradicts everything we’ve learnt through biology.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Asanga Welikala,

        This article by Dayan highlights the limits of devolution.

        You wrote an article about devolution on 20 May 2012 and abandoned it immediately. Why?

        There are 15 comments to your article and yet you did not write a single reply. What was the purpose of writing about devolution and catalysing a debate if the author shirks the responsibility of answering questions? Was anything preventing you from elaborating your views on the subject?

        I have specifically addressed a comment to you at the link below which unfortunately remains unanswered to date.

        http://groundviews.org/2012/05/20/devolution-and-the-concept-of-concurrency-abolition-or-reform/#comment-44648

        Under the circumstances it is strange to see you questioning DJ on the limitations that he believes should be observed, when devolving power.

        You ask “Why should the unity of the Sri Lankan state be regarded as a VALUE or principle that demands the universal subscription of citizens………… “

        For the sake of argument replace Sri Lanka by say USA, UK, France etc. What would you expect the answer to be?

      • I seem to have dropped the last part of my comment.

        So if a person supports legislation-A because he thinks it reduces crime rates, even though there are abundant statistical evidence to the contrary, it is irrational and hence invalid. I also do think all rational political choices are valid. There might be multiple rational choices.

        Patriotism is stupid. That is why you will never get me to die for my country. But I don’t think it is irrational or rational. Irrationality or rationality is not a property of patriotism. It’s a property of the person who holds that belief. (I further recognize the fact that I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for patriots.

      • Asanga,

        After reading my first comment again, I think it is indeed possible to form a normative argument for the unity of the state. So here is mine,

        “Unity of the state makes the lives of those who belong to the state safer, and also the stabalizes the economy.”

        Reading my first comment, you’d see where I’m coming from.

      • wijayapala

        Dear sharanga

        If the reason for a person to be pro-life is his belief that consciousness arises at the moment of conception, then it is irrational since it contradicts everything we’ve learnt through biology.

        What does biology say about consciousness?

        And what if a person is pro-life because he believes that the fetus is a human being?

      • Dear wijayapala,

        If you think an embryo is conscious right after conception, then you must believe the first life form on earth was conscious as well since you assume that consciousness can arise without a brain or a nervous system. The only thing the first life on earth do was replicating itself. It was much more primitive than modern viruses. If you think this primitive first life on earth was conscious, please visit my blog and read the article titled “Rejecting Religion”. I’m not providing a direct link here because I’m not sure whether it’s ethical.

        A brain has to develop over time. The central nervous system has to develop over time. Legs and arms have to develop over time. What makes you think that an embryo, which takes a nine month long gradual process to develop everything else, makes an exception to consciousness and conjures it instantaneously? Consciousness has to develop over time just like everything else and you will not be able to put your finger on an exact point in time and say this is when consciousness came into being, just like you wouldn’t be able to exactly when a leg was created.

        Whether a fetus is a human being depends on how you define human. What is the requirement to be considered human. If it is only genetic content, then yes, even an embryo, right after conception is human, and sperm and ovum are half human. But at the earliest stage of a fetus, that is the only similarity between the fetus, and an adult human. During nine months, the fetus becomes more and more like an adult human. You have to use your judgment when you decide whether to abort or not. I don’t have a strong position on this, although I lean more towards the pro-choice position. My point, thinking that an embryo is conscious right after conception, due to your religious beliefs, is not rational. If you base your pro-life position on that, that is an invalid political choice.

        I strongly suggest you read up on evolution. My blog post I mentioned above is a starting point.

      • yapa

        Dear Asanga;

        “Incidentally, I do not regard patriotism (or even ethnic nationalism) as necessarily ‘stupid’. Taking ‘rationality’ loosely as the opposite of ‘stupidity’ in politics, neither rationality nor rationalism constitutes the exclusive determinant of the validity of political choices, and hence the inescapable element of myth, belief, invention and imagination in both patriotism and nationalism, neither of which becomes any less real because it is irrational or stupid from an external point of view.”

        I am not sure whether I have understood your very complex statement properly, however, it seems that you disagree that patriotism, nationalism and also rationality and rationalism as exclusive determinants of political choices.

        Can you please explain what and what factors you consider constitute the exclusive political choices in general and specifically to the Sri Lankan political context?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        Other than the following statement and its consequent post I think I can totally agree with your opinions.

        “If the reason for a person to be pro-life is his belief that consciousness arises at the moment of conception, then it is irrational since it contradicts everything we’ve learnt through biology.”

        On the other hand I was unable to see the relevance of “pro-life” argument to political choices.

        Further, I am not sure from which religion you say you got the idea that consciousness arises as the conception. If your answer is Buddhism, I think your notion is most probably incorrect. Consciousness arising process is clearly described in Buddhism and by critically examining the process most probably the arising of consciousness does not take place in the womb of the mother, even if it takes pace, very marginally and at a very insignificant level.

        So can you explain why and how such a question (question of pro-life)came into the discussion and in which religion specifically say consciousness arise at the conception.

        Further, are you sure a baby in his mothers womb has no any conscious response to any outside sensation?

        (I also think that wijayapala’s question is very valid)

        Further, I must tell you that it is incorrect to conclude some thing is irrational because it contradicts with Biology. For this you will have to accept that Biology is rational, really it is not, Biology is mainly empirical.

        On the other hand when you put your total belief in a knowledge system as you have done for Biology, you becomes a victim of “karivila gediye panuva” (worm of bitter gourd)as I call the “Godel’s Theorem”.

        A worm who was born and lived all his life in a biter gourd is not qualified to say the taste of the gourd. It is always tasty to the worm. But for others it might be bitter. I think Biology is not bitter to you, but you cannot say any other thing is bitter on the basis of the taste you experienced in Biology.

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        I think, we’re trolling here by commenting on things that have no relevance to the main article. Still I’d respond to you.
        *****
        On the other hand I was unable to see the relevance of “pro-life” argument to political choices.

        Maybe not so much in Sri Lanka, but in a place like the US, being pro-life is a political choice which has a huge impact on how people vote.
        ********
        The religion I got the idea from is Christianity. It is not in the Bible, but the idea is believed by many Christians. I remember how Obama and McCain differed on this. Obama said he doesn’t know, and mother’s should use their own judgment whether to abort or not. McCain had a quite a different opinion. The audience was large Christian since it was held inside a church and McCain got a huge applause. (I cannot remember exactly when or where this debate took place. I think pastor Rick Warren was the moderator).
        ****
        I deny buddhism on the grounds that it is religion, and religion is a special case of supernaturalism, and supernaturalism is a special case of non-reduction, and non-reductionism is “a priori” false due to the logical incoherence it creates. In world world where a laptop has an existence that cannot be reduced to the quarks it is made of, what experimental observations would you expect? I refer to my blog for the full argument.
        ****
        Further, are you sure a baby in his mothers womb has no any conscious response to any outside sensation?

        I never said so. On the last day the baby spends inside the mother’s womb, it is not much different than it is on the first day it spends outside the womb. I merely say that consicousness, like everything else like brain and nervous system, has to develop slowly. It is not as if the fetus is on LSD. But whatever consciousness the fetus has at, say, three months, has lot more to develop to become a consciousness similar to that of a human adult.
        ****
        Further, I must tell you that it is incorrect to conclude some thing is irrational because it contradicts with Biology. For this you will have to accept that Biology is rational, really it is not, Biology is mainly empirical.

        One thing I see over and over again is that people define rationality in whatever the way they feel is right. Anyway, epistemic rationality only requires you to do one thing. You have to have beliefs that are informed by evidence, and update them based on evidence, so that there is a close correspondence between your beliefs and the reality. It is true that rationalists do not always depend on empirical evidence when updating their beliefs. They do it based on rational evidence. But what on earth makes you think not updating your beliefs based on empirical evidence is rational? Empirical evidence is a sub-class of rational evidence. Not all rational evidence is empirical. But all empirical evidence is rational. So when there is scientific evidence that suggests smoking shortens your life, a rationalists accepts that and updates his beliefs according to it. Whether he smokes or not is a different issue.
        ****
        On the other hand when you put your total belief in a knowledge system as you have done for Biology, you becomes a victim of “karivila gediye panuva” (worm of bitter gourd)as I call the “Godel’s Theorem”.

        I would say that I’m 99.9% (this is just an arbitrary number) sure that scince is true. I wouldn’t say 100% sure because if that was the, I am absolutely sure, which means I cannot change my opinion ever, even if there are evidence contrary to my belief.

        I’m 99.9% sure that if I don’t eat, I’d die. There are plenty of evidence for a rationalist to have that belief. Belief in biology, physics, and chemistry is similar. There are plenty of evidence for a rationalist to be 99.9% sure that they are true.

      • yapa

        Dear Sharanga;

        We have discussed empiricism, rationalism, science, scientific method, Newtonian science, modern science, religion etc etc are in many previous threads.

        Please read the lengthy discussion we recently had in this blog. We have discussed the differences in those methods as knowledge gaining methods and their limitations as well. Please go through the discussion, the discussion began with the given post below would be better.

        http://groundviews.org/2012/05/10/no-longer-blind-no-longer-bound/#comment-44986

        I think you would have a better understanding about the above concepts. I think if you gain a better understanding about “Epistemology” you will change your 99.9% to a lesser digit. Also you will not say the statements like “Empirical evidence is a sub-class of rational evidence. Not all rational evidence is empirical. But all empirical evidence is rational.” again. I don’t think it is a true statement.

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        There are over 300 comments there and no one seems to be a professional philosopher. So I thought about reading only you, but then, you start by saying the following,

        “In science empirical evidence means “five sensory evidence”, that is the evidence produced by eye, ear, nose, tongue and by body. Why only the evidence produced by these five are taken as valid? Why not take the “sensory evidence” produced by “mind” as valid? Mind also can act as a sensory organ. Why the (sensory) evidence produced by mind is ignored by science?”

        If you don’t see the obvious problem here, there’s no point of arguing. But then it seems that nobody else sees the obvious problem either, so I might as well spell it out.

        Though you may not have realized it, you are talking as if the mind lies outside the laws of physics. Though you do not spell it out, you think mind is something mysterious, which can some how produce true information without outside help. You talk as if the mind cannot be reduced to the quarks and leptons the brain is made of, so if you take every quark your brain is made from, there still will be a mind left. I cannot even begin to talk about the fallacies of this kind of thinking here, so I would stop the talk about epistemology now. But I’d ask you one question so that you realize the mind is not an a priori truth factory. If the mind is indeed such a great truth factory, why can’t we find where the food is by thinking alone?

        I must say that I expected more from you than directing me to 300 long comments. I expected you to directly engage with my argument. So I will pose this as a question.

        Q: on what basis should a rationalist deny empirical evidence?

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        I would like to answer you a bit specifically.

        “Though you may not have realized it, you are talking as if the mind lies outside the laws of physics.”

        Many intuitively believe so or at least they find they cannot explain mind completely with the existing laws of Physics. I don’t think you too can believe otherwise with justifiable reasons.

        During the Greek era philosophers found that there is something in a man which cannot be reduced to material elements of nature. At least they were not convinced it to be put together with material components of man. They kept this “peculiar thing” separate from material components and developed a different subject area to study it calling it “soul”. In Europe this was developed as Psychology separate from Physics, Chemistry and Biology, even scientists were feared to take it under the umbrella of science. Still thew case is different. I think no laws of Physics is taught in Psychology courses. Why is that? Don’t you think yours is a hasty and bold conclusion taken by you to include mind into the world of Physics? Ask a Psychologist or a physicist whether Psychology belong to Physics? I think you are trying to give Physics an undue respect.

        “Though you do not spell it out, you think mind is something mysterious, which can some how produce true information without outside help.”

        If we compare the things with minds can do against what the things without minds can do, I think considering mind as mysterious is not unjustifiable. Do you think it is not? Can the quarks and leptons of a stone do the what the quarks and leptons of mind can do? Don’t you think “the quarks and leptons of mind” are different from “the quarks and leptons of a stone”?

        “You talk as if the mind cannot be reduced to the quarks and leptons the brain is made of, so if you take every quark your brain is made from, there still will be a mind left.”

        Yes, I have no reasons so far to believe otherwise. Do you have?

        “I cannot even begin to talk about the fallacies of this kind of thinking here, so I would stop the talk about epistemology now.”

        Why do you say it is a fallacy? Because it goes against your belief? Otherwise, tell me how it becomes a fallacy.

        “But I’d ask you one question so that you realize the mind is not an a priori truth factory.”

        Really it is not. However, without mind no priori or posteriori is possible even if thousands of truths are available in front of your nose. When you are asleep you do not see things even if they are kept at your nose’ length even if your brain is not dead. At the same time it can show you movies (dreams) even when all your other organs are inactive.

        “If the mind is indeed such a great truth factory, why can’t we find where the food is by thinking alone?”

        May be because it is not physical and its actions are not physical but the food is physical.

        “I must say that I expected more from you than directing me to 300 long comments. I expected you to directly engage with my argument. So I will pose this as a question.”

        It seems that you are worried about my directing you to read a discussion in a previous thread. I did so to prevent a repetition, so many times I had to say the same thing in this blog with “science enthusiasts”. When one enthusiast is knocked down, an identical enthusiast appears and the same punch and kick I have to use for again and again and now I am bored with the exercise. There are an unending chain of science enthusiasts these days, who are always in an attacking posture against anything.

        I think science is very popular and therefore science find many enthusiasts, whose cumulative force is very strong to withstand by a few of the enthusiasts of other traditions. I think reason for the huge number of enthusiasts in science is the popularity more than the strength of its contents. This is evident from the fact that the knowledge of many science enthusiasts about science is limited to basics, still they are enthusiasts. I am not telling this to you or labeling you, I have come across very good science enthusiasts as well in this blog, people like Saban, Heshan and and people like PitastharaPuthraya are among them. But most of the people are mesmerized with the glow of science (and technology) and do not know its limitations and boundaries and think it as a panacea (kokatath thailaya). However, it is not the case, science is just a narrow band in epistemology. There are many things existing outside its domain. Many enthusiasts at least do not understand this basic fact about science. They think science as the yardstick of everything, which is a myth.

        “Q: on what basis should a rationalist deny empirical evidence?”

        This is a very broad question. I don’t think average rationalist deny empirical evidence. However, a “pure rationalist” would not accept empirical evidence. Same way a “pure empiricist” would not accept rationalism as a knowledge gaining method.

        There are fundamentally considered as rival theories in their purest forms. However, Science utilizes both these methods for the development of its knowledge system.

        I think the answer for your question is commonly available online.

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        The theories of Greek philosophers have been blown off into pieces. If they are in heaven, they might be still searching for the pieces. There’s a reason why reductionistic materialism has become dominant. It has won. Where have you been for the last four hundred years?

        Your mind would be far less mysterious to you if you read up on cognititve science. If you really want to learn about the mind, do not look into psychology. You’d learn how cognitive science have blown off David Hume’s definition of “a priori” to pieces.

        It is hard to imagine that you people still believe the mind is mysterious when there is technology to scan your brain. Why on earth should everything can be within the domain of physics, except the mind? Your talk as if mind, there’s the mind, and then there’s the outside world. You talk as if physical things can be moved by non-physical things (like when you move your arm using your non-physical mind). Don’t you think we would’ve been able to learn all the forces working upon a physical object?

        All I can say is, just update yourself with modern science and modern philosophy. You’re still living five hundred years ago.

        You still haven’t answered my question directly. I want a direct answer, not something like “I think the answer for your question is commonly available online”

        So, I ask it again,

        “Q: on what basis should a rationalist deny empirical evidence?”

        ****

        “If the mind is indeed such a great truth factory, why can’t we find where the food is by thinking alone?”

        May be because it is not physical and its actions are not physical but the food is physical.

        This is funny. So when you move your arm, that has nothing to do with your mind? So how can you be held accountable if you kill a man with your mind? Why should you earn bad karma when your mind didn’t cause your arm to move?

        Yapa, modern philosophy has gone a long way than Nalin de Silva thinks it has gone.

      • Yapa,

        If psychologists think they work outside the domain of physics, they shouldn’t even be allowed to call it even a social science.

        Anyway, I have to elaborate on some stuff so I can intellectually murder you.

        Don’t you think “the quarks and leptons of mind” are different from “the quarks and leptons of a stone”?

        Quarks and leptons are quarks and leptons. Where did you learn physics? Sorry if this sounds condescending. But in this day and age, you shouldn’t try your hand at philosophy without a sound knowledge in science and maths.

        Think again about what you are saying. So the mind is non-physical, and you say you can’t find food by thinking alone because it is physical. The arm is physical. Since mind cannot affect physical stuff, mind is not causing arm movements. So if you kill a man by stabbing him, you didn’t do it. Your arm did.

        Non-reductionism creates all sorts of problems. It is a confusion, which is false a priori due its logical incoherence.

        Now I still expect you to answer my question about rationality. But I must say one thing in advance. If a person denies all empirical evidence that suggests smoking ruins your lungs and keeps on smoking, and still think his behaviour rational, he’s doing something not worse than what Yapa did.

        So what did Yapa do? He said you can get empirical evidence by using mind alone. I didn’t say this earlier. But what exactly do you think the definition of the word “empirical”? You can stop talking about logic when you say things that are incorrect by definition.

      • Yapa,

        Kind of feel bad about saying I’d intellectually murder. But I suppose you know it’s not personal. Reductionistic materialism has to defeat non-reductionistic non-materialism to grow in this country.

        By the way, there are six types of quarks if you’re interested.

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “All I can say is, just update yourself with modern science and modern philosophy. You’re still living five hundred years ago.”

        My first degree is in Physical Science (mathematics). I think I am comfortable with classical science and modern science as well. I am pursuing my master’s degree in Philosophy and Psychology in addition to the post graduate degrees I had completed.

        Do you think I am not updated in what you have mentioned above?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “So what did Yapa do? He said you can get empirical evidence by using mind alone. I didn’t say this earlier. But what exactly do you think the definition of the word “empirical”? You can stop talking about logic when you say things that are incorrect by definition.”

        Really the whole confusion is due to the lack of knowledge of definitions, I agree. Please go back and look for the definitions of rationalism, empiricism etc. etc.

        Following discussion also would help.

        http://groundviews.org/2012/01/13/can-rationalists-awaken-the-sleep-walking-lankan-nation/

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “If psychologists think they work outside the domain of physics, they shouldn’t even be allowed to call it even a social science.”

        Why, do you think social sciences also belong in Physics? Interesting!

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “Anyway, I have to elaborate on some stuff so I can intellectually murder you.”

        I thought you as a enthusiast or as an activist, not as a fanatic.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “Anyway, I have to elaborate on some stuff so I can intellectually murder you.”

        I think you can choose to slay or be slain (or retreat). Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        I know I have won when my opponent stop engaging with arguments directly, and instead vaguely refer me to the entire internet.

        I have to intellectually bury you. So I enumerate things so that it would be harder for you to escape.

        (1). You said mind was non-physical, and it cannot find where the food is because food is physical. So non-physical things do not interact with physical things. I pointed out to you that then since your arm is a physical thing, your mind must have no control over its movements. So if you kill a man by stabbing him, you should not be held responsible since your mind had nothing to do with the murder. Also, since you are Buddhist, you must also agree that since your mind wasn’t involved in the murder, you should not earn bad karma for it. You have conveniently ignored this in all your comments.

        (2). Your have so far avoided giving me a direct answer as to “on what basis should a rationalist deny empirical evidence”, and instead have advised me to look up definitions of rationality and empiricism. If you think this is the correct way to argue, you are beyond help. So I ask this again, and I expect a direct answer. “On what basis should a rationalist deny empirical evidence?”

        (3). Since your mind is non-physical, and since drugs like heroin and methamphetamine are physical, they must have no effect on the state of your mind. The same can be said about alcohol. So, can I get you to do heroin? Also, since I assume you are a Buddhist, I must also ask, if alcohol doesn’t alter the state of your mind, on what basis do you justify saying that drinking alcohol is a sin?

        (4). Since the mind is non-physical, and cannot affect physical things, it means that you cannot learn anything about mind through physical means. This means that you cannot learn about mind through spoken words since they create acoustic vibrations in the air and those are physical, and you can’t learn about mind by reading books either since printed words are physical, and the non-physical mind could not have affected them to be there. Also it means, whatever you are talking about your mind on this online forum, has nothing to do with your mind since these digital, electric signals could not have been affected by your mind. So what on earth are you talking about the mind?

        (5). I should have said psychology belongs to physical reality, not physics. It was a minor mistake on my part. So I modify it. If psychologists think that they work outside the domain of physical reality, they shouldn’t be allowed to call it a social science.

        (6). You seriously think that quarks and leptons that make up a stone are fundamentally different from the quarks and leptons that make up a mind in that those second kind of quarks and leptons are capable of creating complex non-physical entities. If you are indeed of this view, my question is very much valid. Where did you learn Physics? Now I know a maths course is much different from course in theoretical physics. But the concept should be clear to anyone who has some basic knowledge about chemistry, and know how carbon atoms create both mica and diamonds. Your university may have to revise their courses.

        (7). As for mind acquiring empirical evidence independently, I’m not willing to discuss this until you have specifically addressed the above six points.

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        I have already told you that I am bored answering very common and popular superficial question frequently asked about things you are referring to. We have discussed them in a much deeper level in the past, that is why I referred the discussions to you.

        I think reading them is more productive and easier than writing them again.

        If you feel the above is not agreeable to you, tell me, then I will think about a different strategy to tell them to you. Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        It will take ages for me to correct logical errors in your post of June 29, 2012 • 8:25 am.

        It is full of wrong premises, wrong arguments and wrong conclusions.

        How can I answer this soup of logical fallacious questions? Instead if you want I will show you how your post is full of worthless statements, though it is a waste of my time. I should say it is full of non-sense.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “I know I have won when my opponent stop engaging with arguments directly, and instead vaguely refer me to the entire internet.”

        Most of the “science champions” think they have already won every competition even before fights start. They think just because they “believe science”, they get an in-penetrable body armour against any army. Even rats “believe science” think whatever they think cannot go wrong. “Science armour” most of the time is a cover to hide their intellectual disabilities.

        “Science Dutch Courage” is just an scare crow for me. I am very much used to it. I have seen many science champions in the past, who even have not learnt science for their O-Level, but assertive science is the “kokatath thailaya” and insult even a piece of vegetable in their own plate of rice.

        That is an outdated myth. A day dream dream of a fool.

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        I must say, I expected a little bit more intellectual honesty from you. Therefore I am a little disappointed. However, I do understand that watching your whole belief system being crushed, and you yourself being personally embarrassed for thinking that there are certain kinds of quarks and leptons that create non-physical objects, could be a roller-coaster emotional experience, as evident in you “Ha ha”.

        Since you are not willing to directly engage with my arguments, there is nothing more to do than finish it. I must say, even though you may not be able to properly define rationality, right now you have accurately assessed the reality and updated your beliefs according as a good rationalist should, understood that you cannot win this debate from here, and has devised an exit plan that wouldn’t fool the more erudite readers, but would certainly fool the uninitiated readers.

        In any case, I might summarize for the benefit of everyone.

        1. Yapa thinks mind is non-physical, and it cannot interact with physical entities. Therefore, he is not responsible if he murdered a man by stabbing him. It wasn’t him, just his arm. I advise everyone, if you see Yapa, run for your life.

        2. Yapa cannot explain his claim that a rational person should ignore empirical evidence. There is empirical evidence that if you smoke too much, it would ruin your lungs. If you’re a Yapa’s kind of rationalist, you can start smoking. It’s fun and it must be harmless.

        3. If you are Buddhist like Yapa, don’t feel bad about doing heroin. There’s nothing wrong with it since it doesn’t affect your mind, according to Yapa. Your decision to take heroin isn’t even taken by your mind since your mind could not have caused your hand to inject yourself with heroin. Life’s going to be totally fun for you guys.

        4. Yapa is a psychologist who thinks he’s a talking about mind. But then, his mind could not have caused his lips to move, his fingers to type. In other words, yapa is a zombie psychologist. For others who are of the same opinion as yapa, I strongly advice not to get into psychology. Zombie psychology is a little too crazy.

        5. Yapa, the zombie psychologist thinks that psychology does not belong to physical reality. I never saw that coming.

        6. Yapa has degree in physical science. But he thinks there are quarks and leptons that create non-physical objects. Where did he get his degree?

        7. Yapa has typed on his keyboard something about mind being able to get empirical evidence since it is a sensory organ. But then, his typing that statement must have had nothing to do with his mind according to him. Does anyone else feel like you need to talk about mind without involving your mind?

        That’s my summary. Further participation in this debate is futile.

      • Those who read this thread, also read my comment made on
        June 30, 2012 • 10:34 am
        as a response to yapa’s comment made on,
        June 30, 2012 • 8:06 am

        I had to add another number to my summary.

        (8). Yapa now thinks that non-physical minds can indeed interact with physical things. So basically, he is saying that the mind is causing the physical quarks that make up arm to move. To move a physical thing, obviously you have physically interact with it. So on what basis does he think things that can physically interact are non-physical? I don’t know. He is a zombie who is making a category error of biblical proportions.

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        I would unwillingly answer your questions, not because they contain something valuable, but because I didn’t want to be called a coward. Otherwise I don’t see any good reasons to engage in a prolong debate.

        Your comment (C): “1. Yapa thinks mind is non-physical, and it cannot interact with physical entities. Therefore, he is not responsible if he murdered a man by stabbing him. It wasn’t him, just his arm. I advise everyone, if you see Yapa, run for your life.”

        My answer (A): I think mind is non-physical has a bearing on physical things as well and also can affect physical things, in general. Therefore the conclusions on the above premise, third and forth sentences are nonsensical to attribute to me. Really I think the opposite, and that shows his conclusions are against the reality, showing the fallacious nature of his logic.

        (C): 2. Yapa cannot explain his claim that a rational person should ignore empirical evidence. There is empirical evidence that if you smoke too much, it would ruin your lungs. If you’re a Yapa’s kind of rationalist, you can start smoking. It’s fun and it must be harmless.

        (A): I have never claimed that a rational person should ignore empirical evidence. It is a brain child of yours. So your conclusions follow are incorrect.

        (C): 3. If you are Buddhist like Yapa, don’t feel bad about doing heroin. There’s nothing wrong with it since it doesn’t affect your mind, according to Yapa. Your decision to take heroin isn’t even taken by your mind since your mind could not have caused your hand to inject yourself with heroin. Life’s going to be totally fun for you guys.

        (A): What a nonsense is this? Who say mind doesn’t have an effect on body and body has no effect on mind? This shows your lack of knowledge (about Buddhism as well).

        In Buddhism mind and body connection is explained with the metaphour of a lame person seated on a blind person’s shoulder to direct/help him to find the path to walk while getting the help of the blind to go where he wants. Both benefit from each other. They are mutually benefited.

        (C): 4. Yapa is a psychologist who thinks he’s a talking about mind. But then, his mind could not have caused his lips to move, his fingers to type. In other words, yapa is a zombie psychologist. For others who are of the same opinion as yapa, I strongly advice not to get into psychology. Zombie psychology is a little too crazy.

        (A): I don’t say I can be coined as a psychologists, though I know a little bit of it. and I think from the explanations I gave to your comment above, I don’t need to answer this brain child of yours again. I am not the father of them, but as you try to impose it on me you are either not the father, but the illegitimate father of that child.

        (C): 5. Yapa, the zombie psychologist thinks that psychology does not belong to physical reality. I never saw that coming.

        (A): A person who knows a bit about the psychology developed in Europe and if you refer to that psychology, no one would say that statement. But still I believe, mind cannot totally be reduced to physical components.

        (C): 6. Yapa has degree in physical science. But he thinks there are quarks and leptons that create non-physical objects. Where did he get his degree?

        (A): I didn’t talk about any quarks and leptons, other than mentioning it to show a logical fallacy of yours you arrived at. Even if those things are known by any other names, I don’t think reality can be totally explained in terms of them, if they are only physical in nature. I think there is a non physical component at least in some parts of reality

        (C): 7. Yapa has typed on his keyboard something about mind being able to get empirical evidence since it is a sensory organ. But then, his typing that statement must have had nothing to do with his mind according to him. Does anyone else feel like you need to talk about mind without involving your mind?

        (A): Contrary to your belief I believe in empirical evidence. In Buddhism it is known as “(mundane)prathyaksha gnana”. This is the primary (mundane)knowledge gaining method. All other mundane knowledge gaining forms are secondary and dependent upon the primary method and extensions of it.

        I think you have gone biased with ignorance and love for self.

        Do you know the four biases on which a person goes wrong? A person goes wrong only on those four factors. If you prevent those four biases affect you you can stop you going wrong.

        Those four factors in Buddhism are called “Sathara agathiya”, and they are Chandaya (self love), dweshaya (hatred), mohaya (ignorance) and bhaya (fear). Please see whether you have gone bias on other two factors as well, in addition to the two factors I mentioned.

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        You are total liar.

        You are now claiming that the non-physical mind can affect physical things, I you pretend as if you were always of this opinion. But when I asked why you cannot find where the food is by thinking alone, you had the following to say.

        May be because it is not physical and its actions are not physical but the food is physical.

        You could not be any more clear Yapa. You were saying the mind is non-physical, therefore it’s actions are not physical, and since food is physical, the mind cannot interact with the food. You couldn’t be any more clear than that.

        Once I called you out on this, your best option was to stay down without further embarrassing yourself. But you couldn’t resist. So you said,

        Do you think I am a moron to think non-physical things can not interact with physical things. Where did I say or at least indicate so?

        So now you think non-physical things can interact with physical things. If the interaction is physical (it must be, if you want to move your physical arm), that means non-physical things are physically interacting. If that is the case, on what basis you are calling them non-physical? They are capable of physical interactions. If on the other hand if you say non-physical things interact with physical things non-physically (which is not enough to move your arm, but nevertheless), then you are saying physical things are capable of interacting non-physically. This is moronic.

        My best advice to you is that just don’t further bury yourself with the biggest ontological category error in the history of Groundviews.

        Yapa, you are a liar. Here’s your other lie. You are now saying,

        I have never claimed that a rational person should ignore empirical evidence. It is a brain child of yours. So your conclusions follow are incorrect.

        But earlier you had to say this,

        I don’t think average rationalist deny empirical evidence. However, a “pure rationalist” would not accept empirical evidence. Same way a “pure empiricist” would not accept rationalism as a knowledge gaining method.

        After saying that a pure rationalist does not accept empirical evidence, and then saying a rationalist should not ignore empirical evidence, are you now saying a pure rationalist is not a rationalist? Don’t further embarrass yourself.

        Yapa, you are a liar, and I’m done with your lies. Take care.

      • yapa

        (please post here, not below)

        My dear friend sharanga;

        It seems you got angry. Please do not get angry, it is bad for your health. Also on that basis one might decide to choose the loser and winner, and that might go against against your contention about the loser and the winner in this debate. Also there are enough additional good reasons why one should not get angry. So be cool.

        How can I let loose this logical entanglement of yours?

        OK!, let me address your post very specifically and carefully so that you understand things as it is.

        Here we go!

        Your comment (C): Yapa,

        You are total liar.

        My answer (A): I never claimed I am not a liar. Problem would be if I claimed I am a liar.

        Think about the latter case.

        1. If the statement is correct, I cannot be a liar and hence the statement is incorrect.

        That is if the statement is correct, then it is incorrect.

        2. If the statement is incorrect, then I don’t lie but what I had said in the statement is a lie.

        That is non liar lies.

        So, in both cases I am safe. You can think what ever you want about me, who cares?

        (C): You are now claiming that the non-physical mind can affect physical things, I you pretend as if you were always of this opinion. But when I asked why you cannot find where the food is by thinking alone, you had the following to say.

        May be because it is not physical and its actions are not physical but the food is physical.

        (A): No I didn’t pretend so, but you incorrectly comprehended so. It is not my fault, I knew that you were seated on the tail, but I let your wish to be fulfilled, and didn’t disturb you. As I have been telling through out the blog, “Logic is not for everybody. If I borrow a word from you for that somebody must have a high GPA. Ha! Ha!!

        I will explain.

        My position was and is that non-physical things can affect physical things, however it does not mean every non physical thing should affect all the physical things. So, it is logically consistent and there is no barrier for me to think that non-physical mind cannot find physical food.

        Got the point?

        To tell you technically, they have no necessary and sufficient connection between them. Or in other words, there relationship is not an if and only relationship. Or they have no one (both side)to one connection between them.

        Difficult to digest? Not my fault, logic is not that easy.

        (C): You could not be any more clear Yapa. You were saying the mind is non-physical, therefore it’s actions are not physical, and since food is physical, the mind cannot interact with the food. You couldn’t be any more clear than that.

        (A): When I give a cloth you cut it your self, stitch a yourself wear it and say my cloth gives you a clownish look.

        In a way it is true, my cloth gave you a clownish look, otherwise, the you would be wearing emperor’s clothes.

        Dear friend, mind is non physical, but it is a kind of physical manifestation as well. Though the actions of mind are non physical it does not bar those non physical actions from interacting with (some)physical realities, as you arbitrarily assumed thinking I also would assume so. My thinking is different from you and therefore your wrong thinking for me do not make me responsible for them. It is you who are responsible for your going around the mulberry bush, not me.

        Got my point?

        (C): Once I called you out on this, your best option was to stay down without further embarrassing yourself.

        (A): Hah! Hah!! Ha!!!, you still think so? who should stay down? Hah! Hah!! Ha!!!

        (C): But you couldn’t resist. So you said,

        Do you think I am a moron to think non-physical things can not interact with physical things. Where did I say or at least indicate so?

        (A): I let you draw and bath (aedagena nanna aeriya). Hah! HaH!! Ha!!

        (C): So now you think non-physical things can interact with physical things.

        (A): As ever.

        (C): If the interaction is physical (it must be, if you want to move your physical arm), that means non-physical things are physically interacting.

        (A): Not really, they can make physical things interact, or direct/instruct them to interact. You know mind only direct/instruct your arm to do things, and only muscles do the action not the mind.

        (C): If that is the case, on what basis you are calling them non-physical?

        I think the basis is now clear to you. They really does not “interact”, which is a very vague term, but could direct/instruct physical actions. Mind does not assemble BMWs but without the instruction/direction of mind you cannot do it. Assembling a BMW is not a non physical action. I don’t say moving your arm is a non physical action. It is a physical action, even the exact amount of energy required fro that action can be measured with physical means. Do you know how much Joules you need to move you hand to scratch your head? Ha! Ha!!

        (C): They are capable of physical interactions. If on the other hand if you say non-physical things interact with physical things non-physically (which is not enough to move your arm, but nevertheless), then you are saying physical things are capable of interacting non-physically. This is moronic.

        (A): I don’t like that vague and non specific jargon, especially the broad term “interaction” to use here in the discussion, you may use a word with a more specific meaning to represent what you are trying to say here. Here you have only a semantic problem or word puzzle. You will have to put aside the word entanglement to address the real issue. That is the reason I used the words direct/instruct in the place of vague term interaction. Vague terms mislead you in arguments, please try to be more specific in the future arguments.

        Really as I said earlier physical things too can affect non physical things. If I thump you with a mighty club on your back for your moronic arguments, your non physical mind will be effected by my physical action of thumping you, Ha! Ha!!

        (C): My best advice to you is that just don’t further bury yourself with the biggest ontological category error in the history of Groundviews.

        (A): I enjoy being buried.

        (C): Yapa, you are a liar.

        (A): Really?

        (C): Here’s your other lie. You are now saying,

        I have never claimed that a rational person should ignore empirical evidence. It is a brain child of yours. So your conclusions follow are incorrect.

        But earlier you had to say this,

        I don’t think average rationalist deny empirical evidence. However, a “pure rationalist” would not accept empirical evidence. Same way a “pure empiricist” would not accept rationalism as a knowledge gaining method.

        (A): So, is there any issue with my two statements?

        My position is that even pure rationalists do not accept empirical evidence, they should not do so. I do not agree with their stance. My position is any body should benefit from both empiricism and rationalism, just as science do.

        What is the issue you have with my statements?

        (C): After saying that a pure rationalist does not accept empirical evidence, and then saying a rationalist should not ignore empirical evidence, are you now saying a pure rationalist is not a rationalist? Don’t further embarrass yourself.

        (A): No, it is a truth independent of me. Whether it is said by me or by any body else, it is the truth about those two schools of thinkers.

        What can I do about it, even if I don’t like about that state of affairs? I am a simple podian, who has no power to do such big things, unlike you. I cannot murder or bury anybody, I am an innocent simple podian. Ha! Ha!!

        (C): Yapa, you are a liar, and I’m done with your lies. Take care.

        (A): Same to you. But don’t get angry, keep cool. Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        1,374 words, with the meaninglessness of a postmodern article, to deceive the uninitiated readers that you’re not a liar, that you are not confused, and that you do not now the first thing about physics.

        I have won, and further debate with a liar is undesirable and pointless. So, Goodbye!

      • “Dear friend, mind is non physical, but it is a kind of physical manifestation as well.”

        That is the joke of the century. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      • Yapa,

        I had earlier decided to not argue with you since you are a dishonest liar, but I think it is not morally responsible for me to let you run away with your lies. Besides, I have some free time.

        You have brought in liar’s pardox, apparently thinking you can convince at least some of the readers here that you are not a liar by using that paradox. I know the deeper reason. You think you can use it to convince people that you are smart. But then, as any learned reader would know, the liar’s paradox is completely irrelevant here since I never claimed that you claimed you are a liar. I only claimed that you are a liar, and it is an objective statement, and has nothing to do with self-referencing. So again, YOU ARE A LIAR.

        Now that we got that out of the way, let us look at what nonsense you are actually saying (ha ha). You are saying,

        they [non-physical things] can make physical things interact, or direct/instruct them to interact. You know mind only direct/instruct your arm to do things, and only muscles do the action not the mind.

        This is idiotic thinking, especially in this day and age of neuroscience and brain scanning which allows you to see the brain processess governing the movements of your arm. But let me first tell you a story, which I hope would help you to understand stupidity of your position (to which you came by pulling ontological facts about the universe out of nowhere).

        The great mathematician Laplace once went to see emporer Napoleon, who apparently wanted to know the then current scientific view about the solar system. So Laplace went with a model of the solar system; a model based on Newton laws. The model was accurate, in the sense that it perfectly explained the scientific evidence then available, and made predictions with impeccable accuracy and precision.

        But Napoleon had a question. “It is all well Laplace. It is brilliant. But what is the place of god in this model?”

        Laplace said “My lord, I had no need for that hypothesis.”

        If you move your arm, in principle, the causal history of that movement can traced back to the beggining of the universe; to the big bang. We can analyse the chemical changed that took place inside the cells of your arm, the neural signals that caused them, the brain functions behind those neural signals by inspecting which areas inside your brain lights up when the brain is interfaced to a computer. We can trace this causal chain until the big bang, at which point physical laws break down. There is no need for some non-physical thing to guide the process.

        You can make logically incoherent statements about ontological facts of the universe (facts that you apparently pulled out from some source of wisdom that no one else knows about). But the bottomline is, you don’t need non-physical things to explain anything physical in this universe, and since we only know about physical things in the universe, we just have no use for non-physical thing.

        Being confused and embarrassed, and perhaps even hurt, you have resorted to something postmodernists do because they really don’t have any substance. You have resorted to intentionally obscuring everything you say. So you talk abou “if and only relationships”, and try to argue about the meaning of a word (interaction), all the while pulling ontological facts about the universe from your secret source if wisdom. But the fact of the matter is, we don’t need any of those nonsense to explain the universe.

        There is a really simple test that you can do to find whether you are talking nonsense. Consider, after saying everything you said, do you find the universe less mysterious? Do you think someone, who didn’t know anything you said, feel the universe is little less mysterious after reading all you wrote?

        Real knowledge destroys mystery. Fslse knowledge doesn’t, and instead add to the mystery.

        Okay. Let’s move into the question about rationality. I feel I have already proven you know nothing about rationality. Nevertheless, for the sake of the argument let us say that you think rationalists should take empirical evidence into account. But you still said pute rationalists deny empirical evidence. I want to know,

        1. The name of one such pure rationalist
        2. Which book, article or thesis of his that clearly state we should deny empirical evidence.

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        Never mind saying good bye to the discussion with me, but don’t say good bye to the blog and other discussions here. I saw some specialty in you. Your thinking is not common as many others and many cannot think in a different way. So, I think your unique thinking is an asset, form which many can benefit.

        So, do not take this discussion as a point to discourage yourself. Please keep on contributing. I have nothing personal with you.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        “So again, YOU ARE A LIAR.”

        No dear sharanga, I observe Five Precepts every day. So, I cannot be a liar. you don’t and hence must be the liar. Ha! Ha!!

        “and since we only know about physical things in the universe, we just have no use for non-physical thing.”

        A frog in the well knows only the things inside the well. Ha! Ha!!

        “But the fact of the matter is, we don’t need any of those nonsense to explain the universe.”

        Will you explain the universe to me? Ha!Ha!!

        “There is a really simple test that you can do to find whether you are talking nonsense. Consider, after saying everything you said, do you find the universe less mysterious? Do you think someone, who didn’t know anything you said, feel the universe is little less mysterious after reading all you wrote?”

        I prescribe the same test to you. Ha! Ha!!

        “Real knowledge destroys mystery. Fslse knowledge doesn’t, and instead add to the mystery.”

        Don’t destroy all the mysteries. Ha! Ha!!

        “Okay. Let’s move into the question about rationality. I feel I have already proven you know nothing about rationality. Nevertheless, for the sake of the argument let us say that you think rationalists should take empirical evidence into account. But you still said pute rationalists deny empirical evidence. I want to know,

        1. The name of one such pure rationalist
        2. Which book, article or thesis of his that clearly state we should deny empirical evidence.”

        Which fool expect answers from a person who knows nothing about it? Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks dear sharanga for providing entertainment.

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        I have no intention to leave this discussions either. I have to save the world from liars like you.

        Don’t bother with false compliments. I would’ve accepted such compliment from Ranil Senanayake, although his last reply to me was bitter, because unlike you, he had the grace not to change his original position suddenly without acknowledging it. You on the other hand have done exactly that, and when called out, lie about that fact, and mistakenly thinks you can use the liar’s paradox to cover the objective fact that you are lying. Ranil Senanayake, when defeated, personally attacked me. You went further in our GPA discussion. Once you were defeated, you didn’t just attack me, you attacked intellectualism itself, claiming that I have what you call the “book worm syndrom”. So, really, don’t bother with compliments.

        Now, please reply to my last comment. I have already buried you. But we have take you back and find the causes for you intellectual death.

      • Off the Cuff

        Sharanga,

        What is your view on Hypnotism?

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “Yapa,

        I have no intention to leave this discussions either. I have to save the world from liars like you.”

        You listened to my word. Good child.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        “Yapa,

        I have no intention to leave this discussions either. I have to save the world from liars like you.”

        Ultimately the savour has arrived. Huray! (Ha! Ha!!)

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        Thanks for showing everyone that you are a sour loser. I’ll try not to fall down to your level of childishness in my comment. Simlply because you are childish liar who knows nothing about rationality or quantum physics, doesn’t mean I have to be like you to shoot down your idiotic comments.

        1. Yes. I might be a frog who doesn’t know what’s outside the well. But I’m a frog who’s aware of it. You are a frog who thinks it knows what’s outside the well, and this frog is pulling ontological facts about what’s outside the well out of thin air.

        2. You want me to explain the universe? Read up on quantum physics and cognitive science and every other scientific thing you can find, though I have doubts about your intellectual capacity to understand them. You haven’t even properly understood Nalin de Silva’s philosophy.

        3. You don’t want me to destroy all the mysteries? Nothing is inherently mysterious. If something seems mysterious, it is a fact about your ignorance, not a fact about the thing itself. So you don’t want me to destroy your ignorance? Fine, remain ignorant

        4. You asked “Which fool expect answers from a person who knows nothing about it? Ha! Ha!!” This question raises questions about your intellectual capacity. Anyway, the fact remains you cannot even name a pure rationalist who claimed we should deny empirical evidence. I think I have proven my point

        Anyway, this childish behaviour of yours, is it something you do when you’ve lost, or is it the norm?

      • Off the cuff,

        Hypnotism is very real. It’s just past life regression therapy that seems very dubious.

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “. Ranil Senanayake, when defeated, personally attacked me. You went further in our GPA discussion. Once you were defeated, you didn’t just attack me, you attacked intellectualism itself, claiming that I have what you call the “book worm syndrom”.”

        The way you have defeated I have defeated Mohamed Ali, innumerable times in boxing.

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        Good to know you are at least good at boxing. Certainly you are not very good at philosophy. Pulling logically incoherent ontological facts about the universe out of thin air is hardly the way to go about philosophy.

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        But you will have to be careful (with your moronic philosophy.) Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        I write this comment only to show how smart I am. I have lost hope in you.

        Say for the argument’s sake that you have always believed what you claim now. According to what you believe now, non-physical things have physical manifestations, and hence can affect physical things.

        This is what you call Mind Projection Fallacy, in philosophy. You think the attributes of your own mind are attributions of reality itself. So since you think something is non-physical, reality itself classifies it as non-physical.

        But reality doesn’t work like that. Reality doesn’t think like you. Reality doesn’t define things. Reality doesn’t care whether you call something physical or non-physical. Reality only cares about properties. The ability to affect other physical things is a property of the things that you call physical things. Therefore those things will also come to play in our equations. Now, if something has the ability to affect other physical things, if something has a physical manifestation, it doesn’t matter whether you call it physical or non-physical. Reality doesn’t give definitions. Whatever those physical manifestations are, they should appear in our equations. You can call them non-physical or whatever you like, but their physical effects should appear in our equations. But we know they don’t. You will never find physical effects coming from nowhere.

        See how smart I am? Now you can ha ha for all you want. But I’ve won the debate, and you know it.

    • yapa

      Dear Asanga Welikala

      “Why should the unity of the Sri Lankan state be regarded as a VALUE or principle that demands the universal subscription of citizens (and by extension, that citizens should be prepared to defend to the death if necessary)?”

      Can you say why we should refuse the unity instead of accepting it?

      Thanks!

    • wijayapala

      what is the key NORMATIVE argument for the unity of the state?

      The minorities will be safer and will have greater opportunities in a united state than two separate states defined by ethnolingual nationalism?

    • Navin

      “Why should the unity of the Sri Lankan state be regarded as a VALUE or principle that demands the universal subscription of citizens?”

      This about division of resources. All citizens are entitle to equal share of island’s wealth. Not just wealth under their feet, their immediate neighborhood but the very whole of it.

      However, given the uneven distribution of population, if people were allowed to claim exclusive rights to different parts of the country under numerous pretexts, uneven distribution of population will lead to uneven distribution of resources.

      The world’s population is not evenly distributed. Australia’s wealth is several orders of magnitude that of Sri Lanka. Yet, the two countries have the same population. Why should an Australian be entitle to that much wealth by birth than a Sri Lankan? It is this disparity that necessitates everything from border protection, to work permits, to citizenship so that, those who have more access to natural resources today, continue to have the same level of access in future.

      Eelamists like to separate for that gives them a disproportionately large share of land, coast and wealth yet unknown. Unity is the instrument that ensures, all Sri Lankans irrespective of locality and ethnicity of their birth, continue to have access to resources all over the island.

    • yapa
  • alex f

    It is comforting that the author’s views are not widely shared. The Rajapakse’s should take note – their current position is endorsed by few except the ‘highly patriotic’.

    • Off the Cuff

      Hmm apparently a Fools Paradise

  • Sri

    According to Dayan “While everything is debatable, not everything is negotiable. Some things, a few things, simply must not be negotiable. The territorial unity and integrity of the Sri Lankan state, Sri Lanka as a single indivisible country, must never be up for negotiation”

    I cannot agree with you if these are preconditions. This something could be the result of negotiations

    again according to Dayan,” Devolution cannot be open-ended: there must be closure; the ceiling and ‘final status’ must be agreed upon and guaranteed before (re) activation”

    Agreed, but again after negotiation. Not prerequisite
    Negotiation is viable only among equal partners. Not among victors and vanquished.

    The solution may reside not LLRC+13A or LLRC-13A but LLRC + Refined 13A

  • jansee

    David:

    “Then don’t negotiate.”

    Who invited R. Sampanthan in a desperate measure to his residence – just before the UNHRC vote?

    Off the Cuff

    “The Vanni Tamil children were robbed of their childhood, Education and Life. The Diaspora children were enjoying everything that was denied to the Vanni. All because those who were performing Death Fasts, while tucking in to Fast food, on the sly, became the war drum beating mouthpiece, of the Silenced and helpless Tamils of the Vanni, forced to live under the gun wielding jackboot of a murderous gang led by a megalomaniac called Prabhakaran.”

    But Prabhakaran didn’t murder more than 40,000. He did not or did not allow rape. He did not lock up 300,000 in concentration camps by lying through the teeth that it was a humanitarian operation. The gross and blatant damage the Sinhalese did to the Tamils since independence far, far outweigh what Prabhakaran did. Who do you think created a Prabhakaran in the first place?

    Dr Rajasingham:

    You mean to say the alternatives, whether EPDP or the MR regime are better? Were you locked-up like caged animals when you were in Kandy? MR has a lot of tricks up his sleeves, as he used them to conduct and finish the war, but the double-face and double-talk has reached a dead-end.

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Jansee,

      I see no differences between the Tamil formations. They are all made in the same mould. I have clearly set out my thoughts on what the GOSL has done right and what it did wrong in my comments here and elsewhere. MR has been the head of the GOSL during both the last war and since the war ended. He has done many critical things right and a few critical things very wrong. On balance I will give him a lot of credit and a few big brick bats.

      The refugee camp I was in, was walled, had a single door, a single toilet for thousands of people, no administration and only a single Sinhalese watchmen even when the riots were raging around us on the first day- the worst. I sat through the night with the Watchman, to raise the alarm if the camp was attacked during the night.

      The IDPs in Chettikulam had to be guarded against possible attack by the LTTE, which was very much a reality soon after the war. If the LTTE had attacked these camps, the GOSL would have been accused of culpability by the very same people who claim that the IDPs were incarcerated. Further, the LTTE cadres were among the IDPs. Once the threat posed by the LTTE receded and the LTTE cadres were weeded, the IDPs were permitted to move in and out of the camps, under conditions that were progressively relaxed.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Duminda Ratwatte

        Dr Narendran
        We have been getting glimpse into what has been happening to the IDPs in the camps and after being ”released” – the latest:
        Those who didn’t obey the orders of the Army at Murukandy were taken back to Menik Farm on 26 June 2012!!!!!!! –
        http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=35323

      • Off the Cuff

        Duminda Ratwatte ,

        Can you please provide a respectable source?

    • Jansee: “Who invited R. Sampanthan in a desperate measure to his residence – just before the UNHRC vote?”

      Is your point that the GoSL wishes to negotiate? Or that the GoSL needs the TNA’s support?

      “But Prabhakaran didn’t murder more than 40,000.”

      No, he just held them up as human shields so that he could prolong his own worthless life.

      “He did not lock up 300,000 in concentration camps by lying through the teeth that it was a humanitarian operation.”

      No, he just held them at gunpoint, starved them, and shot dead anyone who tried to leave. He kidnapped their children and drove them at gunpoint under tanks. He sent their old and weak as slave labour, deliberately trading their lives for propaganda. Bravo, Jansee.

      “The gross and blatant damage the Sinhalese did to the Tamils since independence far, far outweigh what Prabhakaran did.”

      No, it does not. The Sinhalese didn’t murder the Tamils political leadership and their intellectuals. The Sinhalese didn’t condemn tens of thousands of Tamils to death. VP did all of that.

      “Who do you think created a Prabhakaran in the first place?”

      No one created Prabakharan, except his own hunger for power. No one dictated that he use suicide bombers or child soldiers. No one ordered him to murder the best and the brightest of the SL Tamils and Sinhalese. The drive for Tamil nationalism and separatism certainly was the Sinhalese own fault. But responsibility for the word Tamil being synonymous with terrorist is no one’s fault but VP’s. So be proud, Jansee. Be very proud.

    • Off the Cuff

      Jansee,

      “But Prabhakaran didn’t murder more than 40,000 “

      How many did he murder?
      How many of the Tamil Civilians he held at gun point did he murder?

      “He did not or did not allow rape.“

      Are you sure?
      We heard that he met the suicide cadres privately.
      That guy prohibited marriage amongst his cadres remember?
      That was until he got the urge to do so and started meeting with a young Tamil girl that he abducted and spirited away to India. The young lady was housed with Adelle who protested when your Prabha started visiting her on the sly! Do we need to discuss more of his sex life?

      “He did not lock up 300,000 in concentration camps by lying through the teeth that it was a humanitarian operation“

      No he just held those unfortunates in front of him to stop the bullets that were coming at him and his murderess gang. He also amputated any one who dared to run away from his bullet shield. Not to mention those he had shot in the back. Some eventually got away but he suicide bombed them too. Dr Narendan has given you an adequate reply.

      “ The gross and blatant damage the Sinhalese did to the Tamils since independence far, far outweigh what Prabhakaran did.“

      White washing Praba wont succeed.
      Tamil Elites held Administrative power before independence and for decades after independence.
      The gross and blatant damage was done by the Tamil Elites to the Tamil polity.

      It was they who invaded the Tamil Polity.
      That oppression was invasive.
      It’s tentacles even reached inside Religious Places.
      If they could act so degradingly towards their own race (Hierarchy being Jaffna Tamil Elites, Lanka Tamils and Indian Tamils) what is left to be said about their behaviour towards the Sinhalese, Muslims, Malays etc

      “Who do you think created a Prabhakaran in the first place? “

      Amirthalingam and company of course

      BTW it was Prabha the megalomaniac that held the Tamil polity at gunpoint.

  • wijayapala

    Dear sharanga

    you assume that consciousness can arise without a brain or a nervous system.

    Why can’t it? Could you please provide examples of empirical analysis of consciousness?

    What is the requirement to be considered human.

    Why don’t you tell us?

    • Wijayapala,

      I’m not saying consciousness cannot arise without a brain and a nervous system specifically, just that a something complex like consciousness is a complex structure to support it, and that complex structures do not come into being instantaneosly. In the case of human consciousness, it needs a human brain and a human nervous system. In the case of a conscious artificial intelligence, it still needs a complex structure.

      I need to ask you the following. Please answer.

      Q: Do you think a virus is capable of thinking “I am aware that I am aware. Therefore I am”?

      As for empirical evidence to support that consciousness is just quarks, I think I can get one out of you.

      Q2: If changes in brain doesn’t affect the state of your consciousness, can I get you to heroin?

      • There was an error. Should be,

        Something like consciousness is a complex structure…

      • wijayapala

        Dear sharanga

        Something like consciousness is a complex structure

        Explain. Perhaps it would help if you could give us your definition of “consciousness” (which I suspect is not the same as citta, which I’m sure you can clarify).

        Do you think a virus is capable of thinking “I am aware that I am aware. Therefore I am”?

        To my knowledge, scientists aren’t even sure if viruses are real living beings. If they are not really living beings, then they most probably are incapable of thinking.

        If changes in brain doesn’t affect the state of your consciousness, can I get you to heroin?

        No need for intoxicating drugs; phenomena that we experience in our daily lives certainly affect our state of mind (example: my state of mind while reading “Rejecting Religion” was boredom, clearly proving that the external physical universe does affect our consciousness).

      • wijayapala,

        Consciousness is the awareness of existence. If you are aware that you exist, the you are conscious. It is what you require to think.

        It doesn’t matter if you think citta is different from consciousness. It is still a complex thing that cannot be reduced to simpler non-mental things. You are basically believing in something “fundamentally complex” which is an oxymoron.

        If you’re not happy with viruses, take a bacteria. Do you think a bacteria is capable of thinking? If not, on what basis?

        ***
        Unlike Yapa, you think non-physical things can interact with physical things. So if you remove the part in my frontal lobe that is responsible for moral reasoning, which would alter the state of my mind, would you hold me responsible for murdering someone afterwards?

      • wijayapala

        Dear sharanga,

        Consciousness is the awareness of existence.

        Then clearly, your definition is quite different from the Buddhist concept of citta (which some translate in English as “consciousness”). Your apparent unfamiliarity with citta most likely explains your inability to discuss Buddhism and evolution.

        It doesn’t matter if you think citta is different from consciousness. It is still a complex thing that cannot be reduced to simpler non-mental things.

        Why not?

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “Unlike Yapa, you think non-physical things can interact with physical things. So if you remove the part in my frontal lobe that is responsible for moral reasoning, which would alter the state of my mind, would you hold me responsible for murdering someone afterwards?”

        I think you create ideas for others and fight with your own ideas thinking you are fighting with others.

        Do you think I am a moron to think non-physical things can not interact with physical things. Where did I say or at least indicate so?

        However, I think they is no law to say that every non-physical thing should interact with all physical things.

        BTW, does your material reductionism “allow” you to believe in non physical things?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala/sharanga;

        The equivalent term for “consciousness” in Buddhism is “vin(g)nana”.

        consciousness = conscious + ness – ability to know
        vin + (g)nana also means the same thing, in my view.

        In Buddhism, the entities posses the trait of “ability to know” are known as “beings”.

        I think it is obvious that only those who have consciousness (vingnana) are beings and others are not. Only those who can think are beings.

        I think “I think therefore I am” is correct in this sense, but not to justify the existence of God. I think René Descartes realized this but but his belief in God misguided him to a wrong conclusion.

        I think Descartes independently arrived at the Buddhist definition of “beings” but his bias (agathiya) led him to a wrong conclusion unlike the Buddha.

        Thanks!

      • wijayapala,

        You are conveniently ignoring my question. Do you think bacteria can think?

        Anyway, I don’t expect you to answer it. I think you have already seen where it’s going. If you say bacteria cannot think, I would ask whether a life form, a little bit complex than bacteria, can think. If you say no again, I would ask you about another, a little bit more complex life form, until at some point you have to say that they can think, and that they have “citta.”

        “Citta” and consciousness are not at all different in this context. Citta is a thing that cannot be broken into simpler non mental things. You cannot break into smaller parts. What that means is that somewhere in our evolutionary past, two parents without citta gave birth to a child with citta.

        Q: Do you really think that two parents without citta gave birth to a child with a citta?

        Whatever you say are the differences between citta and consicousness, citta has everything to with what’s in Sinhala called “mamathvaya”. “Mamathvaya” is indeed the awareness that you exist. Indivisibility of citta means that somewhere in our past, two zombie parents gave birth to a conscious child. It would’ve been a great experience to the child, don’t you think, learning that his/her parents literally cannot think?

        Of course, you can get rid of this problem if you deny evolution. But then, evolution has overwhelming empirical evidence to suggest that it’s true, so in order to believe Buddhism, you have to deny those empirical evidence as well. If that is the path you want to go, go ahead. No one would even want to argue with you, ever.

        As I said earlier, you had conveniently ignored my question whether you think bacteria can think. You have also avoided answering my other question about whether a person is responsible for committing murder if the part in his brain that is responsible for moral reasoning had been forcefully removed prior to the murder.

        There is no point in arguing with people who avoid question. You have no intellectual honesty or honour.

        Take care.

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga:

        “You are conveniently ignoring my question. Do you think bacteria can think?”

        I will answer for wijayapala. Answer is no.

        So what?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        RE: your post of June 30, 2012 • 10:24 am

        What an arbitrary heap of presumptions and anarchical arguments and chaos of conclusions.

        If wijayapala decides there is no point in arguing with a person who got his wires crossed I think it will not be that much incorrect.

        Please answer wijayapala’s profound question “Do you really think that two parents without citta gave birth to a child with a citta?”, properly and directly with examples or convincing arguments not with conjecture.

        Can you produce a human child from that living thing you adore much, “bacteria”, in your laboratory or in your blog to disprove wijayapala’s question and to show it has no validity?

        Thanks!

      • So what?

        I have said the so what. The fact that you don’t have the intellectual capacity to understand it is not my problem. I’d spell it out for the benefit of others anyway.

        If the bacteria is not thinking, and if we have evolved from bacteria, you have to ask the question at which point “citta” appeared. If you ask at which point brains appeared, there is no answer to this. Brains are reducible. They developed as a result of a very slow gradual process. Our ancestors therefore had more primitive brains than ours.

        “Citta” on the other hand is an ontologically basic mental thing. It cannot be reduced to smaller non-mental parts. That means they must have appeared suddenly,which means two parents without “citta” gave birth to a a child with “citta”.

        If you cannot see the ridiculousness of the conclusions that non-reductionism leads you to, good luck with philosophy.

        Yapa, you are liar, as stated above. I’m done with your lies and dishonesty regarding philosophical matters. Take care.

      • Yapa,

        Please answer wijayapala’s profound question “Do you really think that two parents without citta gave birth to a child with a citta?”, properly and directly with examples or convincing arguments not with conjecture.

        That question was mine. I asked it from wijayapala. Wijayapala has been avoiding answering it. Thanks for thinking it was profound. Hah

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “If the bacteria is not thinking, and if we have evolved from bacteria,….”

        Really you evolved from a bacteria? Tell me your father’s surname. Is it Bacteria? Ha! Ha!!

        “Brains are reducible.”

        With a chopping knife? Ha! Ha!!

        “They developed as a result of a very slow gradual process.”

        You seems to have been an arden observer of the long process. Ha! Ha!!

        ““Citta” on the other hand is an ontologically basic mental thing. It cannot be reduced to smaller non-mental parts.”

        Is that so? Ha! Ha!!

        “That means they must have appeared suddenly,which means two parents without “citta” gave birth to a a child with “citta”.”

        KO, now I understand. Ha! Ha!!

        “If you cannot see the ridiculousness of the conclusions that non-reductionism leads you to, good luck with philosophy.”

        Do you like to be reduced to your constituent components by me? Ha! Ha!!

        “Yapa, you are liar, as stated above. I’m done with your lies and dishonesty regarding philosophical matters. Take care.”

        Iyou’are done with them whyt the hell are you busrting with anger? Ha! Ha!!

        “Please answer wijayapala’s profound question “Do you really think that two parents without citta gave birth to a child with a citta?”, properly and directly with examples or convincing arguments not with conjecture.

        That question was mine. I asked it from wijayapala. Wijayapala has been avoiding answering it. Thanks for thinking it was profound. Hah”

        Then you must know the answer for the question. Please reveal the valuable answer to us.

        Thanks!

    • Yapa,

      Do you think I am a moron to think non-physical things can not interact with physical things. Where did I say or at least indicate so?

      However, I think they is no law to say that every non-physical thing should interact with all physical things.

      I think you made it pretty clear when you wrote,

      May be because it is not physical and its actions are not physical but the food is physical.

      as response to my question,

      “If the mind is indeed such a great truth factory, why can’t we find where the food is by thinking alone?”

      If you now think non-physical minds can indeed interact with physical things, I wouldn’t call you an idiot or moron because I’m a nice guy, but I’d say you are totally lost.

      If a non-physical thing can interact with a physical thing, on what basis you call it a non-physical thing. If you cause your arm to move, your mind need to physically interact with your arm. You need to physically move the quarks that make up your arm. Now if something can physically interact with physical things, how on earth are you calling it non-physical. You are making a category error of Biblical proportions.

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        Dear friend you are too hasty arriving at conclusions. Do you want me to show your fallacies or you can detect them and correct them?

        Thanks!

  • Pingo

    Devolution came about from the 13th amendment to the monstrous Jayewardene constitution.

    Devolution would not be necessary if citizens had true liberty, therefore return to the constitution of 1948, restoring liberty and abandoning devolution in the process.

  • Neville Perera

    Dayan Jayatilleke is new Cyril Matthew: What Dayan is doing to Mahinda Rajapakse is what Cyril did to JR Jayawardene.

  • Leela

    It was reading through DBSJ blogs that I realised Tamil grievances had started from their aspirations and not vice versa. Though real slow, I am glad at least Dayan is now getting somewhere there. Leela

    • Buddhika

      Grievances and aspirations get mixed up too much in Sri Lankan Politics:

      ”…. Bandaranaike’s success in the 1956 elections was, without any question, mainly due to the well organized and well-financed campaign of the Eksath Bhikku Peramuna (EBP), a specially recruited team of political monks which was active in every Sinhalese constituency throughout the country. … Bandaranaike was unable to fulfill his lavish pre-election promises to the Sangha as a whole. … Bandaranaike found that the political support he had previously received from the Sangha was fading rapidly. ….”

      • rita

        Successive governments have been pretending to close the Pandora Box opened on 5 June 1956. But the Rajapakses are trying to take the lid off the hinge.

  • Neville Perera

    So, according to some people oppression brings about aspirations and aspirations lead to grievances.

    • Leela

      Neville Perera, I didn’t say oppression brings about aspirations. Please do not get confused; what I said was aspirations of Tamils have brought about all their grievances. Got it.
      Leela

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    It does not matter whether aspirations give rise to grievances or grievances give rise to aspirations. Aspirations are what define man. However, it is the quality of aspirations whether in an individual, family, groups of people, society and country, that determine and define character. Should our narrow tribal aspirations or our transcendent cultural heritage as peoples define our character as individuals, peoples and as a nation?

    What are the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim aspirations as groups of peoples? To what extent are our aspirations as groups of people different and irreconcilable? How much commonality is there between inter-group aspirations? Are there major differences in intra-group aspirations? What historical factors and events constitute the basis for the aspirations of various groups? How could the different intra- and inter-group aspirations be reconciled to define common Sri Lankan aspirations, while accommodating group specific aspirations? How could the common denominator among the aspirations of the different peoples, be used to define the aspirations of our nation?

    If we fail to accept our essential unity, among our diversity and refuse to explore ways to accommodate the diversity within an all encompassing unity, we will once again pave the way for history to repeat to the detriment of Sri Lanka and all her peoples. History may not repeat in the previous form, but with previous results, as precautions and preventive measures can be taken only against what is familiar. I see the contours of a new phase in our so-called national conflict taking shape and am saddened by our failure to recognize this.
    Is this the chink in our national character? Does this demonstrate our inability to learn from our recent, sad and violent history? Wisdom and caution with words and deeds are the needs of the hour.

    In this context I quote below words from the preamble to the UNESCO constitution:

    ” Wars begin in the minds of men. It is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • Duminda Ratwatte

    Off the cuff
    http://www.eelamdaily.com/news/5911/57/.aspx
    ”Purana” means ANCIENT and Mahaviharaya means GREAT (BUDDHIST) TEMPLE.
    The board says ”Great ancient temple”.
    There isn’t a temple yet.
    They are GOING to build one.
    How can that be an ”ancient” temple? It’s a NEW temple.
    People do not ”build” an ”ancient” temple?
    A temple becomes ancient after a very long time of existence.

    When
    i.media have been prevented from reporting to one part of the country about what goes in another part of the country,
    ii.journalists have been attacked/abducted/murdered,media offices are burnt down,
    iii. journalists and media self-censor or flee the country or websites are closed down,
    iv.when human rights violations of all sorts go on in the country with impunity,
    v. when the President refuses to release the reports of ‘commissions” and ”committees” he appoints, …… ……… what is respectable and what is not respectable?

    ”But that truth cannot excuse human rights violations that currently afflict the nation as a whole; or for that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north by the Sinhala Buddhist majority” – Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, *Gananath Obeyesekere, Economic & Political Weekly, VOL 47 No. 04, 28 January-03 February 2012

    • Off the Cuff

      Duminda Ratwatte,

      I requested you for a respectable source re the following comment of 28 June

      “Dr Narendran, We have been getting glimpse into what has been happening to the IDPs in the camps and after being ”released” – the latest: Those who didn’t obey the orders of the Army at Murukandy were taken back to Menik Farm on 26 June 2012!!!!!!! –
      http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=35323

      Instead of doing that you come along trailing another red herring, this time from another Eelamist propaganda source.

      Tamilnet.com and eelamdaily.com are not respectable sources.
      Both are Eelam Propaganda sites.

      Murunkan Mannar has been Ethnically cleansed by the LTTE Terrorists.

      It had a Tamil population of 67% in 1811. Sixteen decades later it had 63% in 1981.

      In 1981 the population was, Tamil 63.75%, Muslim 26.62%, Sinhalese 8.14%

      For 160 years the Tamil population stayed in the 60+% range.

      In 2011 the population was, Tamil 82.5%, Muslims 16.9%, Sinhalese 0.48%
      Thanks to Ethnic Cleansing!!!!

      Now lets discuss the picture of the name board you have directed me to.

      Why is the picture cropped on the right side?
      Anything that requires hiding?

      You wrote “People do not ”build” an ”ancient” temple?
      A temple becomes ancient after a very long time of existence. “

      Agreed.

      Have you heard of restoration?
      People do restore historical places that have been razed to the ground!!!

      Extract

      Mannar is a predominantly Catholic Christian area. There was equal amount of Muslim population and a few Sinhalase before 1990. The ethnic conflict created distrust between communities and LTTE expelled all Muslims out of Northern Province during 1990. Muslims refugees settled around Puttalam.

      Muslims have lived here from ancient times when Arab traders were travelling the Indian Ocean. Christians have lived here from Portuguese times. This was the principal port of the Sinhala kings until about the 11th century. Christians originate from the local Tamil people who changed their religions after the foreign traders or missionaries came to Mannar.
      http://www.answers.com/topic/mannar-district

      End extract.

      With such an ancient Sinhala History to Mannar, are you trying to say that the Sinhalese who lived in Mannar did not have any places of Buddhist worship?

      Eelamdaily.com is in Tamil language.
      Though you profess an Upcountry Sinhala Name you seem to be reading only Eelamist Tamil sources!!!

      Dr Pradeep Jeganathan Is a highly respected Tamil intellectual. He makes the following observations.

      Quote

      “it is not historically accurate to say that the Kings of Jaffna ruled the east, certainly even a cursory glance at Dutch records and the doings of Rajasinha the 2nd will tell you, that the Kings of the Kanda Uda Pas Rate, (the five countries on top of the mountains) were also the overlords of Batticoloa and Trincomalee.

      On the contrary the very idea that Sri Lanka is made of discreet, competing communities of Sinhala, Tamil and Mohemedan is very much a colonial idea; first mooted in Colebrokke Camaron Reforms of 1833, which simultaneous with the misappropriation of Mahavamsa and the Vamsatthappaksini for a parochial European debate about the chronology of South Asian Kings. The idea that the Sinhala need a Sinhala representative and the that Tamils need a Tamil one, that the ‘Moors’ need a ‘Moor’ one is a colonial idea, a rupture in the human history of this island, that had seen settled, civilized human habitation for over 15, 000 years. This idea then, to repeat, was folded into the idea culled from a misreading of the Mahavamsa that history of this island is a series of battles between Sinhala Buddists and Tamil Hindus. There is no historicity to this, what so ever. We really must abandon this idea, that we are in grip of a 6th century Sinhala-Buddhist historical consiousness; this is a recent, colonial construction. Treating products of colonial interventions as a timeless essence adds to our difficulties, not allowing for the necessary plurality of imaginings of Lanka’s history to emerge in present times.”

      End quote

      My note – Actually Dutch records show that the Kande Uda Pas Rate extended up to Elephant Pass

      • Duminda Ratwatte

        1.I cannot do much cerebral work beyond UN Charter.

        2.Please look up Sri Lankan land laws and international laws regarding the following:

        ”While forcefully expelled Tamils file the case at the Mullaiththeevu courts, in order to resettle them in their own villages, the number of Sinhala settlers in Tamil homeland, especially along the coastal belt of Vanni, has increased in recent times.
        Nearly six thousand uprooted Tamils are still forced to live in the detention camps, while one section of the war victims were relocated to Koampaavil-Thimpili area against their will. Koampaavil remains completely out of the radar of international attention” – http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=35339

        ”But that truth cannot excuse human rights violations that currently afflict the nation as a whole; or for that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north by the Sinhala Buddhist majority” – Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, *Gananath Obeyesekere, Economic & Political Weekly, VOL 47 No. 04, 28 January-03 February 2012

        3. When
        i.media have been prevented from reporting to one part of the country about what goes in another part of the country,
        ii.journalists have been attacked/abducted/murdered,media offices are burnt down,
        iii. journalists and media self-censor or flee the country or websites are closed down,
        iv.when human rights violations of all sorts go on in the country with impunity,
        v. when the President refuses to release the reports of ‘commissions” and ”committees” he appoints, …… ……… what is respectable and what is not respectable?

      • Duminda Ratwatte

        How many of us in the South know or care to know what has been happening in the Northeast?

        Please let me know if any media in the South reported this:

        http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=35292
        Attack on Dr Jeyakumar and his family in the night(14 June 2012)

        Several years ago Dr Jeyakumar worked at Maharagama Hospital and did selfless service looking after ALL the patients with utmost care.
        That doesn’t mean others can be attacked.

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Off the cuff,

        According to M.D.Raghavan (Tamil Culture in Ceylon-A General Introduction):

        “Part 1-Chapter 6: Ceylon in Relation to the Pandya and Chola Kingdoms

        1. According to the Yalpana Vaipava Malai , a conflict arose between Bhuvenekabahu 1 (1278 AD), the Sinhalese king and the Arya Chakravarti of Jaffna over the rights of Pearl fishery in the Gulf of Mannar. The battle staged (1278 A.D), was severe and Arya Chakravarti triumphed over his adversary. As a consequence, it is claimed that “One flag, the flag of Yalpanam, waved over the whole of Lanka.” The sacred Relic and other treasures fell into the hands of the victor.

        According to the Vaipava Malai,” this state of affairs continued for twelve years, and the Jaffna king restored the kingdom to Parakramabahu through the mediation of Kulasekera, King of the Pandyas (1268-1309), who personally guaranteed the annual payment of tribute by the Sinhalese king.”

        2. The Rajavaliya says, “The Minister Alakeswara lived in the city of Raigama and the nephew of Parakramabahu remained in the city of Gampola, while the King Arya Chakravarti dwelt in the seaport of Yalpanapatuwa. Arya Chakravarti whose army and wealth were superior to those of other kings, caused tribute to be brought to him from the hill and low country districts and from the nine ports.”

        I have highlighted some selected information from Raghavan’s book in a recent essay (http/www.dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/6238).

        Historical memories of the Tamils as recorded above should be respected and given credence, even if these go counter to what most historians have hitherto expounded. This is also an essential step in the process of reconciliation and nation building. However, these should not be used to re-inforce arguments for a seperate state. Current demographic realities should be accepted and used as a basis for political solutions and devolution mechanisms, that could transcend historical perceptions and hopefully, communal identities.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Off the Cuff

        Duminda Ratwatte (sic),

        You say ”I cannot do much cerebral work beyond UN Charter”

        That you cannot do cerebral work is apparent and the UN charter has nothing to do with it.

        I note that you have dropped the Mannar Temple issue like a hot potato without answering a single question that I raised.

        You ask ”Please look up Sri Lankan land laws and international laws regarding the following”

        You should do your own leg work and quote what is relevant to substantiate your position, even though you have admitted to cerebral incapacity.
        Eelam propaganda sites can hardly be used for that purpose.
        In spite of your up country Sinhalese name you seem to be reading only Eelam propaganda sites some of which carry news exclusively in Tamil script!

        You say ”While forcefully expelled Tamils file the case at the Mullaiththeevu courts, in order to resettle them in their own villages, the number of Sinhala settlers in Tamil homeland, especially along the coastal belt of Vanni, has increased in recent times.”

        Where is this Tamil Homeland?
        What are it’s boundaries?

        You say “Nearly six thousand uprooted Tamils are still forced to live in the detention camps, while one section of the war victims were relocated to Koampaavil-Thimpili area against their will. Koampaavil remains completely out of the radar of international attention” – http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=35339”

        Numbers have come down from 300,000?
        Detention camps that allow free movement?
        Strange type of detention!

        Norwegian Refugee Council Report says, “Over 60,000 Muslim persons expelled from their native districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1990 have been living in a state of protracted displacement for the past 20 years in the Puttalam district” (http://reliefweb.int/node/358972)

        Why is it that your bleeding heart refuse to bleed for 60,000 Muslims who have been homeless for over two decades after being uprooted from the North by the LTTE?
        What about the expelled Sinhalese who have also been uprooted from the North for over 20 years?
        Ethnic Bias?

        You say ”But that truth cannot excuse human rights violations that currently afflict the nation as a whole; or for that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north by the Sinhala Buddhist majority” – Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, *Gananath Obeyesekere, Economic & Political Weekly, VOL 47 No. 04, 28 January-03 February 2012

        Gananath Obeyesekera is not here to answer my questions.
        Dr Pradeep Jeganathan is available to answer yours, here on GV, as well as at his own web site (http://www.pjeganathan.org/).
        Has Gananath defined the boundaries of the North?
        Does it include Mannar?
        Does it go beyond Elephant Pass?
        If so Gananath has erred very badly.
        The Kandyan Kingdom extended up to Elephant Pass according to Dutch National records. http://www.atlasofmutualheritage.nl/detail.aspx?page=dpost&lang=en&id=682#tab2
        It is strange that Gnananath does not mention the East.

        You say “3. When i.media have been prevented from reporting to one part of the country about what goes in another part of the country,…”

        Duminda Ratwatte (?), I realise that you don’t read mainstream media and your news is limited to Pro Eelam propaganda sites. But I have read many a news article in the mainstream media that has origins from all over Lanka and is critical of govt.

        Can the govt control foreign media?
        They have been filing many a report critical of the govt.

        Has the govt censored the BS that you write here on GV quoting Pro Eelamist Propaganda?
        Apparently you are also very Brave, to write under your own name (Sic) while spewing such BS.

        You say “ii.journalists have been attacked/abducted/murdered,media offices are burnt down, iii. journalists and media self-censor or flee the country or websites are closed down, iv.when human rights violations of all sorts go on in the country with impunity,
        v. when the President refuses to release the reports of ‘commissions” and ”committees” he appoints, …… ……… what is respectable and what is not respectable?”

        Are you sure that these commissions were meant to inform you, rather than for him to be informed?

        Agreed, there is impunity. Agreed there are HR violations. I do not make excuses for them. The Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays and all others suffer from these equally, not just the Tamils as you are trying to show.

        Attacking them is one thing but trying to use them to advance an inherently unjust political objective of creating an Exclusive Tamil Enclave that excludes even other Tamils is another.

  • Tamil people are not ‘passengers on board’. They have an inalienable right of co-piloting United Sri Lanka. The onus is on the GoSL to prove to the international community that the Sri Lankan State can accommodate the political aspirations of the Tamil people expressed in democratic elections since 1977!

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Cyril,

      Proving to the International Community, should be secondary to not proving to her people, especially the minorities, that the government is honest in intent, sincere in commitment, just in governance and effective in action/delivery. The International community has an agenda that is larger than the interests of Sri Lanka or her diverse peoples. They cannot be relied on to do what is right for us. They will react in a manner that suits there short term and long term interests. They will abandon us, probably leaving chaos behind, once their interests are served. They are a fickle friend!

      It is we the people who have to be staisfied. It is to us- the people- that the government should prove itself. I would also cas aside our so-called political leaders from the ‘Proving to’ process, as they have an agenda that is not consonent with that of the people and serve masters other than their people.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        A correction:

        “Proving to the International Community, should be secondary to proving to her people, especially the minorities, that the government is honest in intent, sincere in commitment, just in governance and effective in action/delivery. —–“.

        Regret the error.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • Duminda Ratwatte

    Hindus leave their footwear on the outside or just inside near the entrance:
    http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=35342
    Occupying Sri Lanka Army assaults Saiva priest in Jaffna
    [TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 July 2012, 07:57 GMT]
    The Tamil priest of Aathi Paraasakthi temple in Valveddith-thu’rai was brutally assaulted by the occupying Sri Lanka military on Monday, a few minutes after the priest politely reminded a Sinhala soldier, who went inside the temple wearing boots, that the act was considered as showing disrespect to the deity and as desecrating the shrine. The priest, brutally attacked by the military, was rushed to Valveddith-thu’rai hospital by the devotees of the temple at E’l’lang-ku’lam. Tension prevailed in the area following the offending act of the SL military, residents of the village said.

  • Duminda Ratwatte

    Will the proper authorities take note:

    http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=35344
    ”….. The zonal director of education has not been adhering to legal tender procedures, as he is discharging his duties as dictated by the paramilitary group, the civil officials said.
    Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, alias Pillayan, the leader of a paramilitary group and the former chief minister of the now dissolved Eastern Provincial Council (EPC), while attending the meeting of heads of schools, has ‘instructed’ the teachers and heads of schools to campaign for him in the coming provincial elections.”

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Duminda Ratwatte,

      Are the websites you are frequently referring, the only source of information you have? If you are what the name you are writing under implies, you should read more reliable and unbiased websites to confirm/cross check what your favourite websites report.

      I am rather reluctantly penning this comment, hoping that your identity is genuine and your interests are genuine.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • wijayapala

      Dear “Duminda Ratwatte,”

      1) Why do you post under a Sinhala name here? I have heard a rumor that minorities in southern Sri Lanka are changing their names to sound Sinhala. If you happen to be one of those, please share your experiences and what led you to abandon your Tamil name.

      2) How come Tamilnet was totally clueless about major things that happened namely a) Karuna split in 2004 and b) LTTE losing the war 2006-9? Is it possible that Tamilnet’s credibility is questionable?

      3) How much is Jeya Annai paying you to advertise for Tamilnet here? I have a relative who is looking for a job and I was hoping that you could help us with introductions.

  • rita

    I’ve been searching for respectable websites:

    http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=Two_websites_propagating_false_news_sealed_20120630_02

    30 June 2012
    Two websites propagating false news sealed
    Acting on a court order the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) officials, yesterday (29th June) sealed an office in Rajagiriya where two websites involved in propagating false and unethical news on Sri Lanka were being operated from.

    These two websites were continuously involved in publishing false and unethical news about celebrities and popular personalities, misleading the international and local communities.

    According to a Supreme Court ruling all websites operating from Sri Lanka should be registered with relevant authorities. The prime objective of this is to identify information which could harm the country and its people and also to identify the extremist individuals behind these unethical operations. The Media Ministry is currently registering websites and most websites have complied with the court order have registered

    Some websites, ignoring the Supreme Court order, are trying to bring disrepute and shame on the country and the people by propagating false and distorted news. The two websites have operated disregarding a legal order issued by the highest legal body. The CID officials raided the office after a court order and have found that these two websites were directly engaged in propagating false and distorted news. Further investigations are continuing.

    Websites operated by certain quarters with vested interests are trying to bring disgrace to the country and the people, especially at a time when the country is undergoing a period of social and economic revival.

    • rita

      Anybody criticising the government is paid by pro-LTTE.
      Anybody reporting news self-censored by journalists fearing whitevan is paid by Tamilnet:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/abuse-by-sri-lankas-army-rubs-salt-in-wounds-of-war-tamil-women-say/2012/07/06/gJQADaSiRW_story.html

      • Off the Cuff

        rita,

        You say “Anybody criticising the government is paid by pro-LTTE.”

        Wrong, those who carry the torch for the LTTE is Pro LTTE.

        You say “Anybody reporting news self-censored by journalists fearing whitevan is paid by Tamilnet: “

        Afraid?

        Is that why “Duminda Ratwatte” uses the FULL NAME?

        The story that you have posted is written by Simon Denyer. The Washington Post is of course a main stream newspaper. However it does not follow that the author is a respectable writer.

        quote

        “Sri Lankan army — almost exclusively made up of ethnic Sinhalese Buddhists”

        Such a statement can be written about UK, USA, France, Germany, Israel etc. But do they write it?

        How he arrived at the “exclusively Sinhalese Buddhist” adjective is a mystery given that the military has a considerable number of Christians within it.

        The PWV is Lanka’s Highest award for bravery. There have been Tamils and Muslims who have received the PWV.

        One of the people who did most damage to the LTTE was a Muslim intelligence officer who led attacks deep in to LTTE territory. He was later assassinated by the LTTE.

        I believe that Major General Ratnasabapathy, a Tamil, was the second in command in Jaffna (hopefully David Blacker would be able to put the record straight if I am wrong here). He received many a threat from the LTTE to resign and became a LTTE hit list target when he refused to step down.

        Here is an example of a respectable report from a Mainstream source

        A course for US military officers has been teaching that America’s enemy is Islam in general and suggesting that the country might ultimately have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths, following second world war precedents of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima.

        The Pentagon suspended the course in late April when a student objected to the material. The FBI also changed some agent training last year after discovering that it, too, was critical of Islam.
        The teaching in the military course was counter to repeated assertions by US officials over the past decade that America is at war against Islamic extremists, not the religion itself.

        “They hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit,” the instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, said in a presentation last July for the course at Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. The college, for professional military members, teaches mid-level officers and government civilians on subjects related to planning and executing war.

        Dooley also presumed, for the purposes of his theoretical war plan, that the Geneva conventions that set standards of armed conflict, are “no longer relevant”.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/11/us-military-course-islam-enemy

    • Off the Cuff

      rita,

      You say “I’ve been searching for respectable websites:”

      We knew that a Tamil separatist propagandist was hiding behind the Sinhala name “Duminda Ratwatte” but never suspected you to be that person.

  • Dr Narendran

    I agree with your corrected response. However, I was commenting on Dr Jayatillake’s reaction to Mr Sampanthan’s speech

  • Instead of confronting Sinhala racism and Buddhist fanatism, the Sinhalese as a nation are turning a blind eye to them.

    Buddhist monks started to be in politics in the 1950’s as individual opinionists, and not as politicians to represent any political party. But now they are misleading politicos in the UPFA government. Speaking and iplementing Buddhist fanatism violates human values and human rights. JHU is the “Buddhist Al Queda” of Sri Lanka(SL).

    Probably knowing this evil trend as the cause for chaos, spiritual decay, land gabbing, and war and military crimes, the Chief Incumbent of Asgiriya Chapter in SL, during his speech marking the 700th anniversary, in June this year said that Buddhist monks must not be in politics but should be in temples.

    But this week, president Rajapakse has asked the constituent 16 parties of UPFA to support JHU in its efforts to defeat a proposed bill in parliament, banning Buddhist monks from active politics.

    The cat is out of the bag. For Rajapakse, politics is more than Buddhism. He appears to be just a pretender to catch votes !!!

  • Duminda Ratwatte

    As the dreadful things happening in the Northeast are not reported on this side of the ”virtual border”, I tried to sprinkle some news which happens to be only on Tamilnet. In 2003/4 when people from the North and the South were taken to meet each other, many in the South found out that they didn’t know of the atrocities committed by the occupation army in the North.

    ”For an example of selective reporting which had enormous significance later on, note the non -reporting of the fact that soon after the ambush at Tinnevelly on July 27th which resulted in the death of the 13 soldiers, there were reprisal shootings by the Army which had caused the deaths of at least 50 civilians. The Government Agent, Jaffna has reported that he had repeatedly reminded the authorities of this and requested due publicity but his pleas remained unanswered” – http://groundviews.org/2012/07/05/handling-disasters-the-man-made-disaster-of-july-1983-part-1/

  • Ramesh

    How can Tamils be part of both ‘false consciousness’ and ‘concrete conditions’?

    Somehow, Dayan want us to think that Tamils are so suicidal that they created a false consciousness of Tamil nationalism among themselves out of nowhere and force a reaction from benign Sinhala nation and thereby created a concrete conditions on ground whereby false consciousness becomes a reality and even becomes part of global continuum in service of ‘the Empire’.

    He adduces this as a reason for his proposed ceiling of the ‘open-ended’ devolution. What on earth is he even talking about? What prevented Sinhala polity to enact UDD unilateral declaration of devolution, UDD. Surely, Sinhala polity did not ask Tamils’ or their politicians’ ‘guarantees’ before they massacred them in cold blood.

    It is funny that Dayan does not even want to recognize that Srilanka is an artificial nation that is kept alive by the ‘hostile sub-regional neighbourhood’ not the other way around.

    These kind of logic, surely, has to come from a deeply disturbed mind which is either racist or unwilling to take any responsibility for one’s own action.

    If history is any guide, forget about incremental secessionism, the only way you people can ever reconcile with Tamils is to be magnanimous and be greatly generous to Tamils, vacate your military from their lands and let them have the control of their own lives and make their own decisions.

    The bottom line is, if you want Tamils to be part of your nation, you have to earn their trust and be grateful for their loyalty. There is no other just and humane way available for you people.

    • Navin

      Ramesh:

      The bottom line is, if you want Tamils to be part of your nation, you have to earn their trust and be grateful for their loyalty. There is no other just and humane way available for you people.

      Your response sounds as if Sinhala people so desperately want Tamils to be part of this country. You guys are so full of self importance.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Ramesh,

      You wrote “Sinhala polity did not ask Tamils’ or their politicians’ ‘guarantees’ before they massacred them in cold blood”

      Was it Sinhala Polity that decimated the Tamil politicians except for the LTTE Proxy the ITAK?
      Was it Sinhala Polity that held the Vanni Tamils captive between the SLA and the LTTE?
      Who amputated those Tamils who tried to escape as Anna Marie of Medicine sans Frontiers described? Who shot them in the back? Who suicide bombed them when they managed to escape from the human shield?

      Was it the Sinhala polity that kidnapped over 8000 Tamil children and used them as cannon fodder?
      Was it Sinhala polity that kidnapped over 200 Tamil children a month during the last 6 months of the war?

      The UN says that the 8000 Tamil children rescued from the LTTE (including 9 year olds) and are being rehabilitated by the SLA was just a fraction of the number of children forced in to war by the terrorists.

      Under the circumstances how many children were forced to die in an attempt to save the megalomaniac Praba and his gang of murderers?
      Would a 1/4 fraction saved (or 24,000 dead) be close enough?

      Who supported that megalomaniac with funds, waving terrorist flags in the west blocking their highways and staging Death Fasts while tucking in to Fast Food on the sly?

      Do you get the picture of who massacred the Tamils in cold blood and destroyed an entire generation of Vanni Tamils?

      You wrote “……Srilanka is an artificial nation ”

      With well over a two and a half millennia history!!!
      Get Real Ramesh.

      You wrote “These kind of logic, surely, has to come from a deeply disturbed mind which is either racist or unwilling to take any responsibility for one’s own action”

      Since you have supported that racist megalomaniac have a good look in the mirror to see a real racist.

      You wrote “If history is any guide, forget about incremental secessionism, the only way you people can ever reconcile with Tamils is to be magnanimous and be greatly generous to Tamils, vacate your military from their lands and let them have the control of their own lives and make their own decisions.”

      Strange to see you seeking guidance from history. Here is a page from history that you will find hard to refute.

      Dutch National Archive Record.
      During the 17th century the Company was engaged in a war of attrition with the king of Kandy, who had close ties with Ceylon’s Buddhist population. There was a narrow tongue of land at Elephant Pass a fort was built to guard the border with the king’s territory.
      http://www.atlasofmutualheritage.nl/detail.aspx?page=dpost&lang=en&id=682#tab2

      Could you please define the boundaries of this Land of yours.

      I believe Sri Lanka is the Land of all her citizens and that each of them is entitled to the fruits of her resources equally and equitably without any consideration towards ethnicity, religion, cast or language or historical habitation.

      What do you believe in?